Gordon Seager was taken to Arrowe Park Hospital in Liverpool after his car was clamped over his failure to pay a parking fine. The 94-year-old grandad “nearly died” as he suffered a major panic attack caused by what his family said was equal to being “bullied” by bailiffs, the Liverpool Echo reports. Mr Seager suffers from angina and lives on a double-pacemaker received a letter from Newlyn PLC, acting on behalf of Wirral Council, threatening legal action for removing the clamp – even though the device was still attached to his car.
Vehicles with disability badges cannot legally be clamped, despite this Newlyn PLC did so on October 28, citing an unpair parking ticket dating back to March.
His daughter, Rachael, 43 said she found her father in bed and “thought he was dead”.
She said: “I came in and he was having a panic attack. He had gone to his car and there was a clamp put on it and a sign saying it was done at 7.18am.
“We’d had no knock on the door, no call at the house, nothing. He has his disabled badges under his visor.
“He has his disabled badges under his visor. It’s illegal to clamp a car with disabled badges.
“He was having an angina attack with the stress. He couldn’t breathe. He was panicking. He was hyperventilating and shaking uncontrollably. It was horrendous.”
Rachael said her father missed a routine blood test as a result of the clamp and she was forced to miss three days of work to drive him to hospital appointments.
She called Newlyn PLC, and said she was told a staff member had visited her father’s house on a date in September to warn him about the clamp and the accompanying £424 fine – but she said when she checked his CCTV for that date, she found nobody had called.
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Rachael also contacted Wirral Council’s parking department but said the family was “boomeranged back and forced between the council and bailiffs”.
She said: “The next day we get a letter from the bailiffs saying my dad was being charged with criminal damage because he had the clamp cut off his car. At this point, my dad had a major issue because of the stress, got blue-lighted into Arrowe Park Hospital and he didn’t come out until five days later.
“The hospital was amazing, the paramedics were amazing – I can’t thank them enough because we literally thought we were going to lose him.”
After sending her father’s medical documents to Newlyn via WhatsApp, the clamp was finally removed on November 15.
Rachael said her father “never” misses a payment and would have paid it if he knew anything about it”.
She added: But the fact that he has been put through this is unfair. It’s bullying and scaring old people.
“If my dad didn’t have his family around him, it would have taken his life away. His car is his last lifeline, his last link to independence, and to do that to him is cruel.
“All they did was bully and threaten an old man to try to pay £424. I don’t want anybody to go through what my dad had to go through, ever. It’s wrong.”
A spokesperson for Wirral Council said: “The council followed the standard procedure after a parking penalty was correctly served. Once evidence of vulnerability was submitted and confirmed the penalty was cancelled.”