When Sam Kirk started having what he thought was a panic attack as he drove through Swindon he pulled into the nearest available safe place and called 111.

More than three hours later, and after a thorough check up by paramedics in an ambulance he was finally able to drive home.

But what he didn’t realise was that he’d been landed with a £70 parking charge notice for being in the Tesco Extra Ocotal Way car park for more than three hours.

Sam, from Penhill, had gone for a drive at 5.30am on September 20 because he was struggling to sleep.

Suddenly he found himself struggling to breathe. 

I’ve never had a panic attack before, so I was quite concerned,” the 47-year-old explained, 

“I thought I’d better get off the road so pulled over into the car park. 

“I sat there for a while but couldn’t get myself calmed so I called 111 who advised me not to drive and they’d send an ambulance out.”

Call logs show Sam called 111 at 5.51am and was on the phone for over an hour. He then waited 30 minutes before calling 999 as he was growing more worried. 

An ambulance arrived shortly afterwards at 8am and he was checked over for roughly an hour and a half before he was able to return to his own vehicle and drive home. 

Days later he received the notice in the post. “I understand why I got the fine, it’s a camera system on entry and exit to the car park,” Sam said.

“So I appealed by telling them what had happened to me, but they responded by saying my appeal had been rejected.”

The company that manages the Tesco Extra car park is Horizon Parking, which said it hadn’t received sufficient evidence to cancel the fine. 

“We received an appeal from the driver, who advised they had a medical emergency and wouldn’t be paying their Parking Charge Notice,” a spokesperson told the Adver. 

“Unfortunately as no evidence was provided, we rejected this initial representation, but requested further evidence to support the appeal."

But the company confirmed: “Following the contact from the Swindon Advertiser, and confirmation of evidence, we have cancelled the PCN, and send our regards to the driver regarding the situation.

“We would encourage any driver who receives a PCN in a situation such as this to provide as much evidence as possible with their appeal, so this can be correctly adjudicated.”

A spokesperson for Tesco said: “We were sorry to hear about this customer’s illness, and have organised for the penalty charge notice to be cancelled.”

But Sam said he felt that if more evidence had been needed it should have been asked for by the firm before the appeal was rejected. 

He added: “My being unwell at the time was anxiety related and none of this process has been helpful in that regard.”