I was handed £100 parking fine while taking my disabled son to respite care – I overstayed by just nine minutes

A MUM was fined £100 for overstaying in a waiting bay by nine minutes as she dropped her severely disabled son off at respite care. 

Widow Charlotte Cheshire, 44, had to stay with Adam, 11, for longer than planned because his carer was stuck in traffic. 

She decided to wait rather than load him back into the car because he would have had a violent meltdown and injured her if he thought his day out at inflatable theme park Inflata Nation was cancelled. 

Charlotte, of Newport, Shropshire, told The Mirror: "Adam is my baby, I adore him, but he's a big child.

"When he gets upset I'm not going to walk away without bruises so I'm trying to control what I can. I'm constantly on alert.

"I had parked up thinking we'd be gone within the 10 minutes. I had prepared Adam for 'now blue car, next carer, then play'.

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"If I had tried to put him back into the car as timed waiting period ended, for a loop round the centre to another space, a violent meltdown would have ensued with certain injuries to me."

Adam was left severely disabled from woeful care after his birth at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust and needs 24-hour support.

Charlotte said the carer provides a few hours respite for her from having to support her son alone, since her husband died in 2020. 

She accepted she was parked in the bay longer than the ten minute requirement but urged the parking firm “for a bit of compassion”.

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Charlotte added: "I honestly thought my blue badge would mean we would get longer, we never left the vicinity of the car, we didn't go off for sneaky shopping trip.

"Unless you've lived with a disabled person, you just don't get it."

Charlotte pays for Adam's care privately while the family waits on an assessment in their new area after moving house.

She added: "Respite gives me time to breathe, time to do the grocery shopping, just do day to day things I can't do with him.

"Sometimes it is just a time to rest.

"I love Adam to pieces but he is incredibly hard work, not just the physical things like changing nappies, it's the constant fight or flight mode, planning what's going to happen next.

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"Respite gives me that bit of strength to keep going."

Smart Parking cancelled her fine when approached.

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