He used the free parking permit to park at work
An architect left his disabled 92-year-old mother cooped up at home all day so that he could use her free parking permit to drive to work, a court has been told.
David Jones was caught using his mother’s blue badge parking permit to park near his company’s office in Battersea.
He was seen parking his Nissan Qashai on four occasions in Patience Road and Khyber Road. At no time was his mother seen in the vehicle, although it is illegal to use these permits when the owner is not present.
On two of the dates Jones parked in designated disabled parking bays – preventing them from being used by people who genuinely need them. The court heard that when the permit fraud team had gathered enough evidence to show beyond any doubt that he was abusing the system, they arranged for his car to be towed away.
Enraged by this, Mr Jones then concocted a false story to try and reclaim the removal fee. He claimed that his mother had been in the car with him and that he’d dropped her off at a café in Tooting on his way to Battersea. Unfortunately for him, the fraud team had photographic evidence showing clearly that his story was untrue and that he had travelled in the car alone that day.
As a result of inventing this false story, Mr Jones, who lives in Beeches Walk, Carshalton, was also charged with an offence under the Fraud Act, as well as with those relating to the misuse of his mother’s badge.
At South Western magistrates court earlier this week he admitted four counts of blue badge misuse and one count of making a false representation.
He was fined a total of £1,040 and ordered to pay the council’s prosecution costs of £562. These fines come on top of the £265 Mr Jones also had to pay to get his Nissan back from the car pound.
Abuse of the blue badge system is widespread in London and in other big cities because the permits allow holders to park virtually anywhere they like free of charge.
However the badges can only be used lawfully if the disabled person is either driving the vehicle or being carried as a passenger.
Since the council’s fraud team began to actively investigate misuse of the scheme, around 500 dishonest drivers have been brought before the courts where they have been convicted of more than 2,000 separate offences. This has led to £650,000 being returned to the public purse in fines and court costs.
Anyone with information about blue badge misuse can contact the council's team of investigators by calling freephone number 0800 085 0866 or emailing email@example.com