Melbourne council is unlikely to collect a parking fine imposed on a 71-year-old man for exceeding his alloted time in the car park of the Croydon Market shopping centre since he had lain dead for "several days" in the vehicle when an enforcement officer moved in.
The man had been reported missing nine days previously and was known to be "seriously ill", The Age reports.
The Mayor of the eastern suburb of Maroondah, Paul Denham, explained that the "parking officer had not noticed the man when he attached the parking fine to the windscreen", offering: "The parking bays are 90-degree with cars parked nose in. A small garden bed is located immediately at the front of the parking bays. Our local laws officer checked and wrote out the ticket at the rear of the vehicle and placed the ticket from the passenger side on the windscreen. The local laws officer did not notice anything unusual regarding the vehicle, and is extremely distressed to have learned of the situation."
A female friend of the man was less than impressed with the explanation. She said: "From what the police had told me, it would have been very obvious he was deceased so I'm really disgusted."
Premier Steve Bracks last week expressed his condolences to the man's family and friends, noting: "I think the whole community would be concerned at that sort of development." Bracks added there would be a full coroner's enquiry into the matter and any recommendations "will be adopted by organisations such as councils". ®