Fr Paul Fox said the fine showed how 'cold' some people could be

A priest has criticised hospital parking authorities after being fined while on an emergency visit to a sick patient.

Fr Paul Fox of Our Lady of Ransom, in Rayleigh, Essex, told the BBC he had put a note on his windscreen saying he was a Catholic priest on an emergency call but returned to discover he had been fined £40.

His appeal against the decision was later rejected.

Fr Fox said the penalty showed “how callous and cold some people can be”.

He said: “I feel quite angry in a way because you’re trying to do God’s work and bring God’s mercy and love and compassion to people. And someone out there decides to fine you and doesn’t even listen when you try to put your case to them.”

He had, he said, been “going to see a parishioner who was quite unwell at the time, [to give the] sacraments and so on and talk to him and talk to the family”.

The parking authorities, he said, “just don’t seem to care that this is a Catholic priest trying to do a work of mercy”.

Southend Hospital told BBC Radio Essex that it was seeking to resolve the matter with Fr Fox.