A GRIEVING man says callous contractors made more than £600 out of his mother's death after they towed away her car for not having a valid tax disc.
Ritchie Fisher admits he broke the law by keeping the car on the road near his home in Lister Close, Acton, after the tax had expired.
But he says it ran out while the family were busy repatriating his mum's body to South Africa. He says there was no one to renew the vehicle licence while he was away and, in the circumstances, it was the last thing on his mind.
Mr Fisher said: "My mum passed away on May 8. I moved the car off my drive and on to the road while it was still taxed to make way for the funeral proceedings. When I came back from South Africa I found the car had been towed on June 3 while I had been away.
"At first I thought it had been stolen, I contacted the police, the DVLA and the council and no-one knew what was going on. I found out it had been taken by a company called Wing Security, who first said they didn't have it which all added to the distress.
"When they later said they had towed it away they said I should pay the £630 charge and appeal afterwards to the council. But the council said it was a private road and nothing to do with them.
"I went back to Wing Security and they washed their hands of it. They didn't want to know, they were very unsympathetic. I think they should have taken the circumstances into account, it wasn't that I was trying to get away with anything. It's not about the money, it's the principle, that they've made money out of my mum's death.
The road is owned by Catalyst Housing, which employs Wing Security to enforce traffic regulations.
A spokeswoman said: "We do sympathise with Mr Fisher's unique circumstances, but it is a legal requirement to display a valid tax disk in any car parked on the road.
"The parking contractor for the area does, however, operate an appeals process, which Mr Fisher is welcome to pursue. If there is any help we can offer him with this then we would be happy to do so."
Wing Security refused to comment.