A blue-badge holder has hit out at Basingstoke council after he was fined for parking in an area half an hour outside the allowed times, despite being the only car in the entire bay.

Gary Prout, who requires crutches to walk following an accident in 2013, was a bombardier in the British army and captain of the archery team for the inaugural Invictus Games.

On Monday April 19, the 38-year-old business consultant parked in a bay on the southern side of Church Street where there are seven spaces, none of which were occupied at the time, which are available to disabled residents between 9am and 6pm and only to residents of the street itself outside those times.

Upon his return to the car after half an hour, he saw that he had been given a parking fine.

While Gary accepts he parked outside the allowed time, he asks that the council use common sense in situations like his.

He said: “I parked because I saw no one else was there and I wouldn’t be inconveniencing anyone. Times are tough enough for people with mobility issues at the moment.

"For me, this incident is the result of someone not applying any emotion, empathy or human understanding to a situation and focussing solely on procedure.”

He continued: “I want nothing to do with the council after this, if they phone me up and offer me a refund I will refuse it. This is all about principle, I am fortunate that £35 doesn’t mean much to me but that is not the case for many other blue badge holders.”

Gary served in Iraq in 2005 and did two tours of Afghanistan in 2008 and 2009 where he was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, the second highest honour that can be awarded after the Victoria Cross, for attempting to rescue a fellow solider after an ambush.

He appealed the fine, but it was rejected by the parking control team.

In a letter of response, see by the Gazette, the team wrote: “The points you have raised have been given full consideration, however I have to advise you that there do not appear to be grounds to justify the cancellation of the fine.”

Gary added: “This reeks of a culture where people are not willing to show humanity, they are just sticking to the process.”

The Gazette has contacted Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council for comment.