Man used his dead stepdad’s disabled parking badge around Portsmouth

COURT Michael Smith
COURT Michael Smith
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DISHONEST Michael Smith used a blue badge which belonged to his late stepdad to dodge parking charges.

And when he was caught out, Smith claimed the badge’s dead owner was alive and had just popped to the shops.

Smith used the blue badge up to five times a week for more than 18 months to avoid paying to park in Portsmouth following Desmond Quinn’s death.

But he was caught out after a parking services investigator became suspicious.

When questioned by police and a council investigator at his tattoo business at The Arches in The Hard, Portsmouth, Smith initially said Mr Quinn was shopping in nearby Gunwharf Quays.

But he soon buckled and admitted his stepfather had died.

At Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court, Smith, of Francis Avenue, Southsea, admitted four charges of obtaining services dishonestly by using the blue badge to park in St George’s Road, Portsea, between February 25 and March 27.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing or controlling an article for use in fraud between July 7 2009, when his stepdad died, and March 7 this year.

And he admitted to one count of fraud by false representation by using the badge to park in a permit only parking zone in Victory Road, Portsea, on Feburary 28. Six other parking offences were taken into consideration.

Sian Russell, acting for Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘It came to our attention that the badge had been deregistered following Mr Quinn’s death, therefore it was not a valid badge.

‘It should have been returned to the council. When asked why he committed the offences, Smith told magistrates: ‘It was to get out of paying parking charges.

‘It was about four or five times out of a week.’

Smith was ordered to pay £1,395.50 in compensation and costs and given a 12-month conditional discharge.

Michael Robinson, parking operations manager at the council, said: ‘This is more proof that blue badge fraud will not be tolerated in Portsmouth – disabled facilities are for people with mobility problems and not intended to save people from having to pay parking fees.’