A dad stung by a parking fine while his son laid a wreath during a Remembrance Sunday service has said he will not be returning next year.

Nick Littlebury left his vehicle in the car park behind M&S in Epping on November 11.

As he watched his son Freddy pay his respects at the town's war memorial along with his Epping Youth football club teammates, Mr Littlebury's mind wandered from the two hour free parking limit.

When he returned from the ceremony the North Weald resident discovered a £25 fine slapped on his windscreen.

Mr Littlebury said: "When the team was asked to lay a wreath on Remembrance Sunday we thought it would be an excellent chance for Freddy to remember the local people who gave their lives so he could have this freedom.

"The service lasted longer than the allocated time and, to my shock, while my son was laying a wreath not everyone was remembering the dead.

"The council had a team of parking wardens out on the prowl to ensure they could fine the parents like me whose children were trying to help the day and be part of the community."

While Mr Littlebury admitted he was in the wrong for not following the car park's directions properly, he has argued the council should have pursued a more empathetic approach to its parking policing.

He added: "Was I in the wrong? Yes.

"I didn’t complete the admin task of running back to the car for what is essentially free parking.

"Instead I stayed and paid my respects to the dead and watched my son learn about how important their lives were for us so that he can play football without fear every week.

"If the council had a bit more joined up thinking maybe they wouldn't punish people who were there paying their respects.

"On a moral and ethical level I think it is completely wrong.

"However the tone they set ensures that I will not be taking my son next year to pay his respects."

A spokesperson for Epping Forest District Council said that its normal parking policy was employed on November 11.

They added: "We are sorry this man received a parking ticket in one of our Pay and Display car parks on Remembrance Sunday when the service overran his two hours of free parking.

"But I can assure him, and your readers, that there were no more enforcement officers on duty that day than any other Sunday during the year.

"In the run up to Christmas we are offering free parking in all our council-owned car parks at weekends during December."