Kirkby Army veteran, 81, with BEM fights parking-fine firms -- and wins

Parking ticket watchdogs in Mansfield and Ashfeld bit off more than they could chew when they tackled Army veteran Malcolm Scothern, holder of the British Empire Medal (BEM).

By Richard Silverwood
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 10:43 am

For 81-year-old Malcolm, who lives in Kirkby, has won two appeals against unjust fines and is well on his way to rattling up a hat-trick.

Now he wants to let other penalised drivers know that it is well worth appealing, providing they keep all the evidence, such as receipts.

"I feel these privately owned car parks are ripping off the public terribly,” says Malcolm.

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Malcolm Scothern (right) receives the British Empire Medal in 2016 from Sir John Peace, Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire.

‘Death Or Glory’ was the motto of the 17th/21st Lancers (now the Queen’s Royal Lancers), an Army cavalry regiment that Malcolm belonged to between 1959 and 1968, serving in Germany and Hong Kong.

And although he is now disabled with a severe back problem, the motto is one that has served him well after falling foul of the over-zealous ticketing system at car parks.

About ten years ago, he won an appeal against a fine he wrongly received outside the Festival Hall in Kirkby.

And in February, he successfully fought a fine issued by Euro Car Parks (ECP), owners of the Commercial Gate car park in Mansfield.

"The machine did not accept cash and refused my debit card,” said Malcolm.

"I tried to pay by phone but was told it wasn’t registered, so I left straight away.

"I wrote to ECP, explaining that I was parked there for only 11 minutes while trying to get the machines to work, but they wouldn’t accept my explanation.”

Determined not to let it lie, Malcolm passed the matter on to the POPLA (Parking On Private Land Appeals) service – and his appeal was upheld.

"I received a brief text message telling me the fine had been dropped, and not to bother about it any more,” said Malcolm.

However, exactly two months later, lightning struck twice when he parked at St Peter’s Retail Park in Mansfield on a visit to TK Maxx.

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Malcolm was there for 75 minutes, but paid his £2 charge at the machine.

"Yet I still received notice of a £60 fine from the owners of the car park, CP Plus, claiming I had parked without making payment,” he said. “I don’t think the machines were working properly.

"Fortunately, I had saved my ticket/receipt, so I had proof that I had paid. I have written to CP Plus and am waiting for a reply.

"I don’t suppose many people keep their receipts and so, to save any trouble, they automatically pay the fine immediately.

"It seems to me these companies are cheating the public out of thousands of pounds.”

Malcolm’s fight is typical of a man who was awarded the BEM in 2016 for his voluntary work as chairman of the East Midlands branch of the Queen’s Royal Lancers Regimental Association for more than 20 years.

He founded the branch from scratch and built it up to such an extent that it had more than 1,000 members.

It improves the quality of life for former soldiers and boasts a thriving social network.

Many would say he deserves another medal for his parking fine successes. But he says: “I don’t park in car parks any more. I’ve had enough!”

The Chad has approached CP Plus for a comment.