WHEN Headington man Michael Raphel parked his car in a London side street, the worse he feared was a parking ticket.

But when the businessman returned to his red Honda Civic Type R he found it had been blown up by anti-terrorist police.

Mr Raphel, 28, had made the mistake of abandoning his vehicle yards from Downing Street hours before a Remembrance Sunday Parade was due to start.

He had driven to London to catch a boat his friends had hired to celebrate their birthday on Saturday, November 7.

After dropping two passengers at Embankment, by the River Thames in central London, Mr Raphel pulled into what he had thought was a side street and left his car on double yellow lines.

Unfortunately, he had parked in an area of Westminster called Horse Guard Avenue, less than quarter of a mile from Number 10, and in the exact area a parade of ex-servicemen and women were due to march to mark the end of the First World War.

Last night, Mr Raphel said police who were surrounding his car when he returned at 2am told him he had been seen on CCTV running from the car.

They told him when they lost sight of him on camera, they carried out two controlled explosions in his vehicle because of the ‘sensitivity’ of the area.

He said: “They said I had parked in a sensitive area, just around the corner from Number 10 Downing Street, and close to the Ministry of Defence.

“They explained that because I was seen running from the car, and because of the parades the next day, it had heightened their suspicions. When I got back to the car, the driver and passenger windows had been blown out and the bonnet and boot had come open with the force.”

The Metropolitan Police said it was made aware of a suspicious vehicle in Horse Guard Avenue at about 10pm and carried out two controlled explosions.

A spokesman refused to answer any more questions.

Mr Raphel, who owns a men’s designer clothing store in Gloucester Green, said he would be seeking compensation from the police and an apology.

He said: “We have laughed about it a bit now but I’m bit gutted to be honest.

“I know in this day and age they have to be suspicious but I didn’t feel this was warranted. I wasn’t treated badly, but they could’ve been a bit more tactful. The car was registered to me, I’m sure there are ways they could have contacted me if they had really tried to.“ Mr Raphel is looking into an insurance claim for his car, which was worth £18,000.

A spokesman for insurance price comparison website confused.com said hypothetically if a driver parked in a prohibited place, and their vehicle was subsequently damaged by police, an insurance company would be well in their rights to contest any claim.