A DOG lover has been fined £100 after being accused of overstaying the four-hour limit at a shopping centre car park.

Derek Morgan was visiting the vets at the London Road retail park, in Southend, at 9am in the morning.

After being advised to bring his boxer dog back later that day for treatment, the 59-year-old, from Southchurch, left the car park and returned with his dog approximately five hours later.

But contractors Parking Eye have issued the fine, saying his car was parked there for the whole day.

Mr Morgan said: “I have to make frequent visits to the vets at Pets at Home.

“On the first occasion I waited for them to open at 9am to have a word with the vet then made an appointment to bring my dog back at lunch time the same day.

“A few weeks later, I received a £100 fine for overstaying the four-hour limit. But what has actually happened is they have not allowed me to make two visits in the same day.”

Mr Morgan claims he made several attempts to appeal the fine but says they were ignored by car park operator Parking Eye.

He added: “They don’t answer the phone or reply to emails. Now it has gone up to £185 and they are threatening me with court action and a CCJ.”

Mr Morgan said he has since received a second fine claiming he stayed at the car park for 18 hours when in fact he had visited on two consecutive days.

He added: “What people have got to do is stop using these places then the companies would realise it’s not acceptable.

“I feel like I’ve been mugged - I’ve spent a fortune on my dog and am now being asked to fork out even more money.

“I am not paying a penny because I haven’t done anything wrong. They are set up to try and scare money out of people and it’s not on.”

A spokesman for Parking Eye said the firm would not comment as the complaint was subject to legal proceedings.

Last week, the Echo reported how a Southend mum had been fined after being accused by Parking Eye of a 45-hour shopping trip at Southend Airport Retail Park.