A MAN has been forced to pay more than £500 after using his ex-wife’s disabled badge to park in a space that would have cost just £1.
It comes as Portsmouth City Council won a national award for cracking down on blue badge fraud.
Portsmouth Magistrate’s Court heard Peregrine Stewart parked in Landport View when he was seen using the blue badge by a traffic warden.
The city council officer recognised the 51-year-old from a previous time when he was warned over using the badge in a car park.
Chairman of the magistrates Paul Burgess said: ‘It’s not very economic, is it.
‘Let’s just hope you’ve learnt your lesson.’
Stewart was fined £250, told to pay the city council’s investigation costs of £263.60 and a victim surcharge of £20.
Mr Burgess added: ‘You didn’t take the hint on the first occasion.
‘You could have parked easily for £1.’
Dressed in shorts and t-shirt in the dock, Stewart pleaded guilty to unlawfully using a disabled person’s badge in relation to the parking of a vehicle.
Prosecutor Jenny Ager said Stewart was caught in a city council crackdown on blue badge misuse on August 14 last year.
The traffic warden saw him park up and put the badge in his windscreen before walking off.
He was stopped 10 minutes later when he returned to the car and the badge was seized and he was interviewed.
Ms Ager said: ‘During that interview, asked why he didn’t use the park and display he said “because I’m an idiot”.’
Stewart had been previously caught parking with the same blue badge in Surrey Street on January 7.
On that occasion Stewart claimed it was a genuine mistake and thought he could use it as he was going to the bank for his disabled ex-wife, Ms Ager said.
Traffic boss, Councillor Ken Ellcome, said: ‘The council has been robust in pursuing enforcement of blue badges.
‘It’s a good result for disabled people. People abusing the blue badge bring it into disrepute and the genuine disabled miss out.’
The city parking team picked up a national award for enforcing misuse in the British Parking Awards 2015.