Director of children's homelessness firm Street Support convicted for using his mum's blue disabled badge in Portsmouth

A DIRECTOR of a firm that supports homeless children has been convicted and ordered to pay more than £600 after illegally using his disabled mother’s blue badge.

Thursday, 4th July 2019, 3:44 pm
Updated Saturday, 13th July 2019, 10:46 am
A Portsmouth City Council enforcement officer's picture of Street Support director John Amartey's Volkswagen Tiguan, parked illegally in King Henry I Street on January 29, 2019

Street Support boss John Amartey, who is in his late 40s, was caught using it to park his VW Tiguan in King Henry I Street on January 29.

Amartey, of Great Cambridge Road, London, was in Portsmouth to meet council figures about extending the firm’s contract to work in the city.

But he was rumbled when an enforcement officer on foot patrol spotted the badge carried the address of a holder in Haringey, London.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A Portsmouth City Council enforcement officer's picture of Street Support director John Amartey's Volkswagen Tiguan, parked illegally in King Henry I Street on January 29, 2019

After running a radio check with his office the worker found the badge belonged to Amartey’s 81-year-old mother, Bernice, who confirmed over the phone she was at home in the capital. 

The officer gave Amartey a parking ticket and asked him to present the badge for inspection when he returned to his car after the meeting. 

He was however met by silence – and Amartey instead got into his car, locked the door, threw the badge on the passenger side and drove off. 

Council officials identified him using CCTV and confirmed he had visited the Civic Offices for business meetings 12 times. 

The authority said Amartey’s conviction, which went ahead without him at Portsmouth Magistrates Court on July 2, was 'disappointing’. 

Councillor Lynne Stagg, cabinet member for traffic and transportation at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘It is disappointing to learn that the badge used belonged to a family member.

‘We will continue to keep taking action against anyone illegally using blue badges.

‘This type of misuse really affects the everyday lives of disabled users and will not be tolerated, whatever the circumstances.’

The council confirmed its contract with Street Support was continued, but said the move did ‘not in any way to condone’ Amartey’s actions.

Amartey, a Street Support director since January 2017, was convicted of unlawfully using a disabled person's badge when parking a vehicle and failing to produce it without reasonable excuse when required to do so. 

He was also ordered to pay £627.77 in investigation and legal costs, including a victim surcharge.