AN angry driver was left racking his brains after receiving a parking fine despite immediately leaving a supermarket car park after entering.

Malcolm Carroll, 69, Crome Road, Clacton, travelled to the Waterglade Retail Park in Clacton, where he had planned to do some shopping in Morrisons and Iceland.

He was instantly put off the idea, however, after spotting long queues coming from both shops, so, without even stopping or leaving his vehicle, he drove away.

Later in the afternoon, he went back, this time spending no more than half an hour looking in Morrisons for apples and bananas.

He was then slapped with a £60 fine by Smart Parking, the company which runs the car park, after being told he exceeded the maximum two-hour stay.

Mr Carroll, however, claimed the registration recognition cameras failed to capture him exiting the retail park earlier in the day, when he changed his mind about shopping.

“I received a fine from Smart Parking showing the first entry, with no exit photo, and then the second exit, with no entry photo,” he said.

“There is hardly anything in Clacton this time of year that would take over four hours in normal times, yet when the place is virtually closed down, it would be impossible.

“I have been racking my brains about that day and, even if I parked for a short while, there is no way I would have stayed for over four hours in a locked-down town.”

Mr Carroll tried to challenge the fine online but says the reference number the company asked for was not the same as the one on the fine.

After many letters and failed phone calls, Smart Parking has now agreed to waver the fine.

“I tried to phone them, but after the call was answered it would say, ‘Your call cannot be transferred’ and cuts out,” added Mr Carroll.

“I immediately sent a letter so they could not say I did not reply within the 14 days, but I was worried they might have said it was not paid within two weeks and charge me £100 instead.

“It seems very strange to me.”

Smart Parking has been contacted for comment