‘I’ll go to jail rather than pay £35 parking fine’ says Horncastle war hero

George Chester with his fine EMN-140729-090820001
George Chester with his fine EMN-140729-090820001

A 94-year-old war hero from Horncastle says he would rather go to jail than pay a parking fine in a bust-up with Boston Borough Council.

George Chester, of Mareham Road, is refusing to pay the fine.

Mr Chester claims that a ticket issued by an Enforcement Officer states he had parked illegally near Boston Bus Station at 12.54pm.

However, Mr Chester says that at that time, he was 18-miles away - in Horncastle.

He has already appealed the decision twice - and lost.

But Mr Chester is refusing to back down and has launched a scathing attack on the Borough Council, accusing them of acting like bullies.

The brave pensioner, who saved hundreds of lives when he worked as a bomb disposal officer in London in the Second World War, told the News: “They (the council) don’t frighten me.

“They can say what they want but I know I wasn’t anywhere near Boston at the time they say - and I can prove it.

”They made a mistake and they are trying to make me pay for it.

“They’re acting like bullies. Well, they don’t scare me.

“I dealt with a lot worse things in the war.

“I used to dig down 40 feet to defuse unexploded bombs. Some of them weighed a tonne.

“If they’d gone up, they’d have taken half of London with them.

“They (the council) should try doing that job.

“I only tell the truth. I wasn’t in Boston at 12.54.

“I’m not going to pay the fine. If I’d paid at first it would have been £35. Now, it’s £105. It’s not the cost.

“They can take me to court. If it means going to jail then Ill go to jail.”

Mr Chester, who has five children and nine grandchildren, says he drove to Boston to help an elderly neighbour who had to travel to Spalding.

The duo had waited in Horncastle Town Centre for the 12.30pm bus to Conginsby.

From there, the neighbour planned to catch a bus to Boston and then on to Spalding.

However, by 12.50pm, the Coningsby bus had not turned up.

Mr Chester kindly offered to drive his neighbour to Boston, so she could catch a bus to Spalding.

He says he stopped for petrol at a filling station on Boston Road in Horncastle at 1.10pm - almost 15 minutes after the ticket was issued in Boston.

After reaching Boston, he accepts he parked outside the bus station but ‘only’ left his car for two or three minutes to make sure his neighbour got on the correct bus.

He added: “When I got back to the car, the Enforcement Officer was putting the ticket on the windscreen. I tried to explain to him what had happened but he didn’t want to know.”

“He gave me the ticket and walked off. He was a right so-and-so.

“I was upset and it’s only when I looked at the ticket and saw it was issued at 12.54.”

Mr Chester has obtained his neighbour’s bus ticket which the News has seen and clearly shows she boarded the 13.54 bus to Spalding.

He used that ticket in his two unsuccessful appeals.

Mr Chester added: “If - as the council says - the ticket was rightly issued at 12.54, that means I must have parked outside the Bus Station for over an hour.

“That’s not right. I was there two or three minutes at most. Anyway, as I’ve told them, I was never even there at that time.

“There are plenty of people who saw us when we were still in Horncastle at 12.54.”

Mr Chester is now planning another appeal and is being backed by former Horncastle Mayor and District Councillor Fiona Martin, who has written a letter of support to the Borough Council.

A spokesperson for Boston Borough Council said: “When Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) are issued, photographic evidence is usually taken by the Civil Enforcement Officer to evidence the offence.

“Whilst it is not appropriate to comment on individual cases in the public domain, there is a process available to anyone who wishes to dispute a PCN can ask that the matter be heard by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal which is an independent body that listens to evidence from both parties and them makes a decision on the case based on the evidence that is presented to them.”