A 90-YEAR-OLD woman has been spared from two parking tickets she received within the space of just 15 minutes, thanks to the Echo.

Yesterday, the Echo highlighted the plight of Irene Reynolds, who was given the fines after her disabled permit accidentally became partially obscured on two occasions.

Despite appealing against the tickets, Southend Council officials had refused to back down. However, after we intervened, officials looked again at the case and changed their minds.

Mrs Reynolds, who told the Echo she would rather serve time in jail than pay the fines, said: “I think they are cowards because I would have gone to prison.

“It is so pathetic.

“Too damn silly for words.”

Mrs Reynolds, of High Street, Old Leigh, who is recovering from a broken leg, got her first ticket when she inadvertently left a glove partially covering her permit.

She then dropped her friend in Leigh Broadway but, in gratitude for the lift, he left a Mars bar on her dashboard which, once again, partially obscured her permit.

She told how traffic wardens were thoroughly amused by the whole incident.

Mrs Reynolds, the former head of the old Westminster School in Westcliff, added: “They were laughing at me as they put the second ticket on the windscreen.

“They were awful.

“If I thought one of my former pupils had become a traffic warden like them I think I would feel I had done a poor job.

“I am 90 years old and in very poor health. I think they should have used their common sense in the first place.”

Derek Kenyon, the council’s parking manager, said: “We have considered this case very carefully, and on this occasion we will be cancelling these penalty charge notices.

“However, it is important to abide by the rules for the use of disabled parking badges, laid down by the Department for Transport.”