Barrister Prithvijit Hoon displayed his dead mother’s disabled parking permit in his car as he worked in Croydon Crown Court on 22 April.
Hoon, 63, of Brookside Avenue, Wraysbury, Berkshire, pleaded guilty, in his absence, to using the blue badge in Fairfield Road, and was fined £60 and ordered to pay costs of £325.
Croydon magistrates, on 24 November, were told that a civil enforcement officer noted that the disabled parking permit displayed in a parked car had expired. The car was removed and subsequent enquiries revealed that the permit had been issued, by Ealing Council, to Mrs Roma Hoon, who had died in July, last year.
Hoon told the court, by letter, that, having arrived late for court and finding no immediately available parking space, he parked illegally, displaying the badge, which had not been returned to the issuing authority and was still in his car. He had expected his visit to be brief, but circumstances dictated that he be in court for most of the day, returning to collect his car after 5 pm.
Mr Hoon accepted his guilt immediately, saying: “I’m deeply ashamed of what I’ve done; it was a moment of aberration.”
Not "a moment" - he left it there for much of the day.
In another blue-badge fraud case on the same day, Natasha Notice, of Eresby Drive, Beckenham, was fined £60 and ordered to pay costs of £325.
The court was told that the 40-year-old, who did not attend court, was seen parking her car in Sydenham Road, Croydon, on 12 February and displaying a blue badge without the badgeholder being present.
She initially appealed the penalty charge, claiming that her nephew, the registered badgeholder, was with her at the time. However, following investigation and interview by the council’s corporate fraud team she made a full admission, stating that she had illegally parked the car while she was at work.
Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice, said:
Once again, selfish motorists have thought they could flout the law by callously abusing a facility designed make life easier for those among us who are not quite so able.
And, once again, they’ve learned to the cost of their wallet and, more importantly, their reputation, that Croydon is not the place to attempt this antisocial crime. Like others before them, they’ve been caught and made to pay the price.
Both cases took far too long to come to court.