Sudbury parking fine cleared by a day in court

AN ANGRY motorist who used toilet paper to write a cheque for a parking offence had his penalty fine wiped away when a judge ordered him to pay his debt by spending a day in court.

District Judge David Cooper told Richard Roper, 63, of Long Melford, that he would not have a criminal record if he would sit through an entire day of court proceedings at Sudbury Magistrates Court.

Mr Roper, of Roman Way, was so incensed at the "over-zealous" penalty he received in September from a Pcso for a parking offence in North Street, Sudbury, that he wrote the cheque for 30 on two sheets of loo paper.

The cheque was eventually accepted, but he was ordered to pay 15 extra because ticket administrators at Her Majesty's Court Service could not process the tissue-based payment.

When Mr Roper refused he was summoned to court.

At Sudbury Magistrates yesterday he said: "I accepted the initial fine but I'm so disgusted by the over-zealous parking regime in Sudbury, so I decided on a peaceful protest and wrote out the cheque on some toilet paper.

"My bank told me this was legal tender so they had no reason to refuse it.

"It has been badly mishandled. I did not do this to be malicious, it was just a bit of fun and in good spirits."

District Judge Cooper waived the additional 15 charge and told Mr Roper the best way to pay his debt to society would be to spend one day in custody at the back of the court room.

"I can't say it will be very enlightening but I don't think it will be too unbearable for you either," he added.

Mr Roper said: "If that's the way I must pay my debt then I am more than delighted to do that."