A CANCER patient who was forced to make an emergency toilet dash has been slapped with a parking fine.
But the Oakes pensioner has vowed: “I’ll go to prison before I pay that fine.”
Disabled driver Tony Russell, 72, was caught short as he drove around Huddersfield ring road last Saturday.
The diabetic grandad – who suffers from cancer of the bladder, kidney and prostate and has survived major heart surgery – couldn’t wait any longer.
He pulled over to use the public toilets on Lord Street, near the Open Market, but they were in use.
He then quickly parked his car on double yellow lines on Brook Street and headed to the nearby Tesco store.
The former serviceman – who takes 27 tablets a day – was only gone a few minutes.
But when he returned, he had been given a £35 parking ticket – which will rise to £70 if he doesn’t pay within 28 days.
The blue badge scheme allows disabled drivers to park on double yellow lines – but not if there is a loading ban indicated by yellow blips on the pavement as there is on Brook Street.
Mr Russell said: “It is not the fact I cannot afford to pay it but it is the principle.
“A lot of the tablets I take are water tablets and I am often caught short and need to go. It is a medical thing. I just had to go.
“If I was flouting disabled laws then fair enough, but it was a genuine act of God.”
Mr Russell visited Kirklees Council’s parking fine office to explain his circumstances and submitted his defence in writing.
He then received a letter last week confirming he must still pay the fine because “there are not sufficient grounds for the notice to be withdrawn.”
Mr Russell added: “I just feel it is unjust and they should consider my medical condition, which I can easily prove.
“I was no more than three minutes and had tried to use the public toilets but they were in use.
“I think when there is a real reason for someone doing something, they should look at it rather than being so dogmatic and tough.
“I would like them to reconsider. I will go to prison before I pay, on principle.”
He now plans to follow the council’s appeal process, which he believes will waste them time and money.
A spokesman for Kirklees Council said he must now appeal. He said: “We have written to Mr Russell to outline the next steps of the process, which include a formal appeal.
“If that is received we will consider his circumstances.”