Driver fined £200 for hate crime after telling French traffic warden 'to get out of country' in parking row

Lee Parker, 55, called the warden an "immigrant" and told her to "shut up and move on" after being told he couldn't park in a loading bay

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A driver has been fined £200 after telling a French traffic warden to “get out of the country”.

Lee Parker, 55, pleaded guilty to racial or religious harassment after hurling the abuse towards Melissa Marques, who told him he couldn’t park in a loading bay in Worcester.

Parker, who was out shopping with his wife at the time, told Ms Marques to “shut up and move on” before driving around the corner and parking on double yellow lines.

But Ms Marques followed Parker before telling him to move again.

Parker then became enraged and said: “Who are you talking to?

Lee Parker appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court on Thursday
Lee Parker appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court on Thursday

“You're an immigrant. Where are you from you immigrant? Get out of the country.”

A member of the public attempted to intervene during the incident on July 7 last year, but Parker then insulted them with a homophobic slur before driving away.

On Thursday, Parker admitted to racially or religiously aggravated intentional harassment during a hearing at Worcester Magistrates Court.

Eleanor Peart, prosecuting, told the court: "This matter is a hate crime.

“The officer had asked Mr Parker to move the vehicle and he was immediately rude to her, telling her to ‘shut up and move on’ before he parked around the corner on double yellow lines, followed by the officer.”

Ms Peart also told the court how Parker abused a police officer during the incident.

She added: “He was confrontational, saying it was boring and a waste of time to him.

“He left and called the complainant an immigrant – not before squaring up to the police officer and calling him a prat.”

But Fergus Maxwell, mitigating, hit back at the “hate crime” calls, while adding that Parker was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after being stabbed ten years ago.

Maxwell said: “Just because an offence is racially aggravated, it does not necessarily mean it's a hate crime. I don't think it's a hate crime.

“Ten or 11 years ago he was the victim of a very serious attack which resulted in him ending up in ICU.

“He almost lost his life in a totally unprovoked attack.”

On top of the £200 fine, Parker was also ordered to pay compensation, costs and a victim surcharge fee totalling £269.