Hungry McDonalds customer fined for spending the night in eaterys car park

A man has been fined for spending 14 hours in a McDonald's car park – but he claims there has been a misunderstanding.

Leeds resident Ben Mulhall, 32, said he went home after collecting his Chicken Sandwich from the Killingbeck branch of the fast food chain on the evening of September 30.

However, he recently received a fine in the post last week (October 6) claiming he was seen driving off from the car park the next day.

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Mulhall said he had returned to the same car park the next morning to pick up food for his wife and that the cameras may not have captured him leaving the night before or returning on October 1.

Ben told LeedsLive: "I know sometimes you have to wait for your food but I definitely didn't wait that long. I was amused when I got the letter.

"I wasn't angry or annoyed, I just like exposing incompetence. The cameras must have just missed me leaving and the car coming back in.

"My wife sometimes likes a McDonald's breakfast on her way back from a night shift and I think that's what they've caught the next day."

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Mulhall is now appealing to the company that manages the car park to have the fine overturned – McDonald's is not responsible for the error.

The ticket shows a picture of Mulhall's white Volkswagen Golf entering the car park at 5.56 pm on September 30, which Ben said is correct.

However, it then shows a similar snap of his car leaving the car park at 8.22 am the next morning, which would mean he had been in the car park for nearly 14-and-a-half hours.

Mulhall has been handed a £100 fine as a result, which will be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.

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Ben has CCTV footage taken outside his home where he can be seen binning rubbish that resembles a McDonald's take-out bag next to a white car.

The time stamp in the corner reads 5.29pm on September 30 – however, Ben reckons the CCTV camera could be set to UTC, an hour earlier than British Summer Time, which the UK is currently on and is an hour ahead.

This would mean the video was actually taken at 6.29pm and would prove he had returned home after picking up his dinner.

Ben is waiting to hear back about his appeal and does not intend to pay the fine in the meantime.

"I have lodged an appeal with the parking company," Ben said. "I doubt I'll hear back for days though."

LeedsLive contacted McDonald's, which said customers should speak to the parking control company if they believe they have been wrongly fined.

The Daily Star has contacted the parking company for comment.

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