Traffic warden ‘badgered mother to move her car’ as she tried to stop her baby from choking to death
(DAILY MAIL) A mother today claimed she was ‘badgered’ repeatedly by a parking warden to move her car – while she desperately tried to stop her baby son from choking to death.
Suzanne Whalley said the warden knocked on the car window three times as she frantically tried to help nine-month-old Christien.
The mother-of-three said she had pulled in and stopped on double yellow lines in Salisbury, Wilts, after she heard her son start choking.
When she saw Christien was turning blue and unable to breathe, she dived into the back seat. But sut she claimed that as she tried to clear his airway, the parking warden demanded that she moved her car.
Mrs Whalley, 36, said: ‘I was just driving along when he started coughing and spluttering.
‘I pulled over at the first place I could, because I saw that he was having real trouble breathing and had started to turn blue. I was really frightened – it was a complete emergency.
‘I had been trying to help Christien for about 30 seconds when the parking warden tapped on my window.
‘I opened the door and he told me I couldn’t park there but I just told him I wasn’t parked, I was trying to save my son’s life.’
Mrs Whalley, who lives in Salisbury with Christien’s father Dean, who is in the army, said she slammed the door on the warden, who then went to the back of the car and took her number plate.
Then he walked back to the side of the car and tapped on the window again.
She added: ‘I got out of the car and was trying to pat my son on the back to stop him choking but the warden just kept badgering me.
‘I was really panicking but all he kept saying was that I had to move my car. It was staggering.
‘He didn’t offer to help me at all even though he could see what was happening. I just kept telling him that there was no way I was going to move until I had made sure my son was alright.
‘The only advice he offered was that if my son was choking I should call an ambulance.’
Mrs Whalley was in the car with her other two children, seven-year-old Nathan and five-year-old Keira, and said the whole family was left in tears by the way they were treated by the warden.
‘It was horrendous. After it had happened I phoned my husband Dean and he came to meet us straight away because I was so upset. He was fuming,’ she said.
Mrs Whalley said she managed to get her son breathing again, but by that time the warden had given up and moved on.
A spokesperson for Wiltshire Council said they had received a complaint from Mrs Whalley and had launched an investigation.
‘We are sorry that Mrs Whalley feels that our officer acted in an inappropriate manner. This was never their intention. The officer was sympathetic to this woman once he realised the situation she was in and offered assistance,’ the spokesperson said.
‘The civil enforcement officer approached Mrs Whalley’s vehicle as it was in breach of parking regulations. At this point there was no way our officer could have known the situation.
‘Once he was made aware of the circumstances he advised the woman to turn her engine off to make the car safe for the family.
‘He also offered to call an ambulance but the woman refused. Once the officer realised there was nothing further he could do he walked away from the scene. No parking notice was issued. ‘
Christien has now made a full recovery.