A regional press journalist secured a front page story while on a night out after spotting a council chief executive flouting his own authority’s parking rules.
Lowri Stafford, who is news editor at the KM Group’s KentOnline website, was socialising in a pub when she saw Canterbury Council’s chief executive Colin Carmichael leaving his Jaguar on double yellow lines in the city centre.
She leapt into action to capture the moment on camera, along with a parking warden ticketing the car.
Lowri handed the story over to reporter Chris Pragnell and it made the front page of the Kentish Gazette, pictured below.
The story was particularly newsworthy because the authority had been actively discouraging people from driving their cars into the historic city centre and had reduced the number of parking spaces.
KM Group editorial director Ian Carter said: “A good journalist is never off-duty and Lowri proved how important it is to be on the look-out for stories at all times of day and night.”
Two days after he was caught on camera – but before the story was published – Mr Carmichael spoke publicly about the need to encourage people to leave their cars at home and either walk or use public transport.
He admitted the offence and his £50 fine was halved for prompt payment, with him telling the Gazette that he was “the same as anyone else”.
Lowri was a senior reporter on the Kentish Gazette, which is based in Canterbury, before being promoted to KentOnline news editor earlier this year.