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Santa puts traffic warden on the naughty list in driving fine row

Fearne Cotton shares top activities that make her feel Christmas-sy

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A furious Father Christmas lost his festive spirit when a ‘Scrooge’ traffic warden gave him a ticket for “driving his sleigh” in a pedestrian zone as he handed out gifts. Mick Worrall was dressed like Santa Claus in his red and white outfit when he parked his three-wheeler bike, which pulls the sleigh, in Worcester city centre.

The 75-year-old was handing out sweets and teddies to youngsters and collecting donations for a children’s charity when he was given a £60 fixed penalty notice.

But instead of coughing up any cash, the great-grandfather told the warden to ‘post it to the North Pole’.  

And, undeterred by what happened outside the city’s Guildhall in the High Street on Saturday, he has vowed to return to the city centre to continue spreading festive cheer.

Mr Worrall said: “I won’t let the children down. I get pleasure from putting smiles on the faces of the children.

“I’m a bit disappointed – but it’s not going to stop me. I’ve been doing it for years. 

“I refused to take the ticket. I told the warden ‘send it to me in the post to my address’. He said ‘where’s that?’ I said ‘the North Pole’.”

He added: “I will go to court dressed as Father Christmas if I have to. I’m not paying a penny in fines when I’m collecting money for charity.”

He was issued with the ticket because he was judged to be driving in a “traffic-free” zone.

But he says the fine is completely unnecessary.

He added: “I was not driving the decorated trike around the streets. I merely crawled along at under 2mph to my parking spot before handing out festive gifts.

“I’ve done it every year and never had any problems. Last year a policeman even posed with me for pictures.

“Maybe the traffic warden was having a bad day or just being Scrooge but it was petty to say the least.”

The incident was captured on camera by 12-year-old Jake Fox, from Ombersley, Worcester.

He said: “I told the traffic warden ‘You can’t do that! Santa is doing a good thing.”

Jake’s uncle Mike Fellows had taken his nephew to meet Santa when the warden took exception to his mode of transport.

He said: “There were lots of people gathered around and Santa was shouting at the traffic warden.

“To begin with, I thought it was a set-up but the traffic warden went around the rear of the vehicle to take pictures of the number plates.

“Santa shouted, ‘You’re going on the naughty list!’ Lots of people were saying, ‘You can’t do that to Santa!’ He was angry.”

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Onlookers organised a quick whip round to cover Father Christmas’s fine.

A Worcester City Council spokesperson said they could not comment on individual cases but confirmed the fine was issued for “driving in a pedestrian zone”.

Mr Worrall, who has six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter, has raised thousands of pounds for charity dressing up as Santa.

This year he was collecting for New Hope Worcester Children’s Charity.

The organisation works with families who have children with disabilities and complex health care needs.
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