A man given a ticket for overstaying at the Smithfield Shopping Centre in Whitchurch has urged people to challenge their fine if they know it’s wrong

Gerard Ashley, 56 from Talbot Crescent, Whitchurch, was issued with the ticket on November 2 and was adjudged to have committed the offence on October 27.

But the quick-thinking drive knew he had not outstayed his welcome and set off to investigate, proving he had CCTV footage to show he had in fact made two different trips, three hours apart.

“It's been hard work proving this and I would like to thank Victoria Garage for their help in getting me the CCTV,” he said

“I was very worried and surprised when I got the ticket. At first, I didn’t work it out what the dates were but then I realised there was no way I was there for four hours.

“I was lucky to get that CCTV and prove I wasn’t there. Not everyone is that lucky and I was.

“I know that on those dates, I was giving a friend a lift for her shopping. I was in that car park for around ten minutes and then we drove off.

“I remember because she gave me £5 for petrol and I went to fill up.”

Mr Ashley used his family to help him challenge the fine, sending an email to appeal@horizonparking.co.uk, who manage the car park.

He added: “My fine has definitely been squashed and I’ve had the letter saying so, but that’s not the point.

“If you think you have incorrectly given a ticket,  challenge it. Challenge them and write to make them back down.

“They didn’t even ask for proof from the CCTV – they just emailed back to say there wasn’t a fine anymore.”

Mr Ashley also called upon the parking company to check if their camera equipment is working correctly as this is not the first time complaints have been made about potentially incorrect tickets.

The Herald tried to contact Horizon Parking for a comment but no-one was available.