Adam Mansfield, from Rainham, Essex, admitted the charge at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on 19 April, and was fined £150 and ordered to pay £200 prosecution costs.
The court was told that, on 27 July last year, a council civil enforcement officer spotted a car, parked in Bedford Place, displaying what appeared to be a photocopy of a blue badge parking permit. A penalty charge notice was issued and the car impounded.
When collecting the vehicle, Mansfield said the badge was valid and that he had been driving his father, who was the registered holder.
Officers of the council’s fraud team spoke to Mansfield’s father, who said he had not been with the defendant at the time of the offence. In a subsequent interview, Mansfield admitted to the investigators that he had photocopied his father’s permit and had obtained a blue-badge clock from a friend.
When questioned about his actions, he stated that he was experiencing financial hardship and, while working in the vicinity of Bedford Place, had used the permit to avoid parking fees.
Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice, said:
Here’s a case that shows that crime definitely doesn’t pay.
This man fraudulently used a blue-badge parking permit with the express intention of saving a few pounds in parking fees. That small saving has now cost him £350 in fines and costs – and, more seriously, earned him a criminal record.
Blue badges are issued to motorists with a genuine need but, sadly, there are other motorists keen to try to take advantage of the benefits for their own selfish ends. They might get away with it one, two, three times, but they will eventually be caught, and when they are, they will be prosecuted and pay the price, both financially and reputationally.