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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 December 2005, 10:02 GMT
Father Christmas pays off fines
A self-styled "parking ticket Santa" is spreading Christmas cheer among shoppers in Birmingham by paying their parking fines.

One motorist, Caroline Howard, 27, returned to her car in the city to find a Christmas card with 30 inside stuck underneath a penalty charge notice.

It was addressed to Christmas ticketing victim number 14 suggesting the sender has spent up to 420 covering fines.

Miss Howard said she was "shocked but really happy" at finding the present.

'Generous thought'

The card read: "Don't let this ticket spoil your Christmas - here's 30 to pay it off.

"Merry Christmas, parking ticket Santa."

Miss Howard, from Walsall, said it was the first parking ticket she had received in seven years of driving and she had only been 15 minutes late in returning to her car in Birmingham city centre.

She found the card and a 20 and 10 note as she tore the notice from her windscreen.

"At first I thought it was a joke and kept looking around for the person who had left it there," she said.

"When I couldn't see anyone, I was shocked but really happy.

"I still can't believe it. It's such a generous thought and goes to show there are kind-hearted people in the world."

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