A JOBSWORTH wheel clamper crippled a doctor's car while she made a home visit to an elderly cancer patient.

Shocked neighbours who tried to intervene had to look on helplessly as Dr Melanie Wyn paid the �130 release fee so that she could continue the rest of her house calls last Thursday.

Vic Goody, 71, a neighbour at the Burford Court sheltered housing development in Reading's Caroline Street, returned from a shopping trip to find Dr Wyn in tears and said: "It's disgraceful.

"I wish I'd been 30 years younger, I'd have punched him in the mouth. I told him the woman she was visiting has got cancer and said, 'What if she was visiting a sick relative of yours? He said, 'I would have clamped her, it's my job.' They should use their common sense."

Fellow neighbour Mick Breakspear, also a patient of Dr Wyn's Melrose Surgery, spotted the Parking Control Management (PCM) clamper from his window but his protests fell on deaf ears.

Mr Breakspear said: "Fair enough, she didn't have doctor's badge but I explained to him she was a doctor. It's not good enough."

He said last year he saw a care worker's car clamped while she visited a sick woman. Mr Goody, a part-time driver, was clamped himself last month after parking a company car for a "few minutes" to collect something from his flat and had the �190 fine docked from his wages.

Neighbours say they celebrated when Reading Borough Council hired PCM to prevent drivers from other areas using Burford Court as a car park but want to see clampers using common sense.

Neither Dr Wyn not PCM would comment but council spokesman Oscar Mortali, urging residents to get visitor permits, said it will ask the clampers to rescind the penalty.

Abbey ward councillor and transport leader, Tony Page, who stressed the firm is employed at no cost to the council or residents, said Dr Wyn should have been displaying a doctor's permit but pledged to review the guidelines given to clampers.

He added: "In the circumstances, when he was told this was a doctor, I'm appalled the clamper went ahead anyway. He could have verified it quite easily."