After being told to stay inside due to the coronavirus outbreak, this disabled resident never realised she could be penalised for following government guidance...

Helen Butcher, 42, of Keswick Avenue, was denied on appeal after receiving a PCN when her disability badge fell onto her passenger seat during lockdown.

Helen has been confined to her bed since the beginning of March after her hospital appointment to get her valve readjusted, was cancelled due to the pandemic.

The wheelchair user who has a disabled resident parking permit, says she was 'luckily informed' by a neighbour that she was issued a PCN on May 26.

Your Local Guardian:

The 42-year-old suffers from a variety of health issues including; Dysautonomia which causes episodes of tachycardia, breathlessness, and to collapse on exertion.

As well as, being on the mend from open-heart surgery and diagnoses such as asthma, migraine and mast cell activation syndrome.

Helen also has a shunt fitted to drain fluid from her spine to her chest due to her condition intracranial hypertension.

In June, Helen appealed to Merton Council.

"I am aware it is my responsibility to ensure the permit is displayed.

I just hoped that in the current circumstances, taking into account my inability to leave the house due to my extra vulnerable status.

"I have paid the PCN (£55) but only as I cannot afford the higher charge.

"Also, I am still on lockdown and thus unable to leave the house to take this to adjudication, and due to my health, would physically struggle to attend in any case."

Your Local Guardian:

Shortly after Merton Council denied the appeal.

Speaking to Wimbledon Times, Helen said:

"I haven't left the house since early March, literally not setting one foot over my threshold.

My main issue is that the government told me to stay inside.

"I have no idea how I'm magically supposed to know that the permit had dropped from the windscreen to the passenger seat."

After being contacted by Wimbledon Times, Merton Council reached out to Helen. 

A spokesperson from Merton Council, said: “Since we have been aware of the full circumstances of the appeal we have been in touch with Helen Butcher.

"We have provided necessary support to all residents who have had to shield and we have advised Helen Butcher that once she provides us with a copy of her shielding letter we will be happy to refund this parking fine.”