A WALLASEY dad taking his daughter on an emergency trip to the toilet led to him being fined £140 in parking penalties.

John Spenceley is now in dispute with a parking enforcement company after he overstayed his allotted time by just two minutes.

Mr Spenceley had left his Fiat 500 in Liscard's Cherry Tree Shopping Centre car park to go Christmas shopping with his seven-year-old daughter.

He bought a pay-and-display ticket which he thought would be sufficient to cover their time in the centre.

But as they returned to the car, his daughter said she urgently needed the toilet.

Mr Spenceley explained the child’s plight to a patrolling warden, who said he would allow him ten minutes’ “grace” before issuing a fine.

When they returned, Mr Spenceley found a ticket on the windscreen charging him £50.

He admits the trip to the loo took 12 minutes - two minutes over the warden’s limit – but believes the fine is harsh in the circumstances.

The penalty then doubled as Mr Spenceley failed to pay up within seven days as he had appealed to the parking firm against its decision.

In a letter to Mr Spenceley, the company warned time to pay £100 was “diminishing rapidly” and he has since been informed the fine has risen to £140.

Mr Spenceley said: “I cannot believe it. You don’t expect to go shopping and come back with a £140 fine.

“I was only away from the car for two minutes over the time and I think the fine is excessive.

"I explained the situation to the warden before taking my daughter to the toilets and I thought he understood.

“I have appealed against the fine, but it doesn’t seem to have made any difference.”

Trevor Whitehouse, chairman of Preston-based recovery company Automatic Number Plate Recognition Ltd, told the Globe: “We are employed by Liscard Cherry Tree Centre not to enforce, but to provide good car park management and ensure everybody abides by the terms of conduct.

“There are warning signs clearly displayed which set out the terms of conduct. Unfortunately, some people choose to ignore those warnings.

“When we pursue a driver through the DVLA we incur costs which have to be recovered, which is why the fine increased to £100 and now £140.

“We can’t be treated as a joke.”