It’s not every day that a parking warden is described as a hero.
But that’s the word some people have used to describe one worker who issued a ticket to a bus outside London’s Old Bailey on Friday morning.
The bus belonged to supporters of Tommy Robinson, the former English Defence League leader who was inside the building listening to judges give their reasons for finding him in contempt of court.
The 36-year-old faces a maximum two-year jail sentence after “aggressively confronting and filming” defendants in a criminal trial and posting the footage on social media, in breach of a reporting ban, outside Leeds Crown Court last year.
During Friday’s hearing, the parking warden was seen putting the ticket on the red double-decker bus as the crowd of Robinson supporters booed and heckled him from behind barriers.
The bus had been used as a temporary stage and for broadcasting pro-Robinson films. Robinson also used it for a speech to supporters after the court hearing.
But it was ticketed for “parking in a restricted street during prescribed hours”.
The fine was for £130, although the council’s website says this is discounted by half if paid within 14 days.
The parking warden walked away laughing and grinning, saying: “Oh I do love my job sometimes.”
Didn’t think much of traffic wardens but just changed my opinion.. well in mr traffic warden 👍
— peter bedson (@peterbedson) July 5, 2019
First traffic warden I’d like to kiss. Well done! 😘
— VOTE ANY REMAIN PARTY #FBPE 🇬🇧🇪🇺 (@MonTT2002) July 5, 2019
He was not popular with the crowd but many of those on social media felt somewhat differently – hailing him as a “hero” and a “legend”.
One tweeted: “Boy deserves a knighthood”, while another wrote: “First traffic warden I’d like to kiss – well done”.
Later in the day, after the judges ruled on Robinson’s case, the crowd had turned nasty, shouting and jeering.
A number of them chanted “shame on you” while pointing at the court, and beer cans were thrown at journalists.
It’s not every day that a parking warden is described as a hero. But that’s the word some people have used to describe one worker who issued a ticket to a bus outside London’s Old Bailey on Friday morning.