Portsmouth Naval Base worker rapped for blue badge fraud

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BLUE badge fraudster Stuart Milne spoke of his shame after using a dead relative’s disabled permit to flout parking rules.

Milne, of Kirby Road, Copnor, admitted illegally using the disabled badge of his late father-in-law, Harry Fry, to park in Portsmouth.

Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard the 49-year-old had kept hold of Mr Fry’s badge for 10 months after his death in July, 2016.

On May 5, Milne, who works as a printer for the Ministry of Defence at Portsmouth Naval Base, used it to avoid parking costs in a space in College Street, Portsea.

However, Jenny Ager, a prosecutor for Portsmouth City Council, said Milne was caught out by a parking enforcement officer.

‘Portsmouth City Council is very strict on blue badge use and misuse and quite often officers will just carry out random checks on badges,’ she said.

‘On that day the officer conducted a normal security check.

‘That check established that that particular blue badge had been cancelled on July 22, 2016 following the death of the badge holder Mr Harry Fry.’

The court heard this was not the first time Milne came to the attention of the council’s parking team – he was caught using his late mother’s blue badge in May 2015 to park near his home.

On this occasion, he was warned by council officers for the crime.

Bearded Milne, who wore a blue jumper and khaki trousers, hung his head as he was asked to give his version of events.

Speaking to magistrates, he said: ‘I was my mother’s carer for 20 years. The last three she had dementia. She was incontinent and she could hardly see.

‘My partner and I nursed her through all that. We had to watch her die. I was a mess back at that time. I didn’t give two thoughts about parking outside my home.

‘On the other time it was just a panic. It was the day from hell. I was late for my appointment, I drove round and round looking and I couldn’t find a parking space. I had seen I had got the badge in the glove compartment and I used it.

‘It was a stupid thing. I’m ashamed and I regret it.’

Milne was fined £100 and ordered to pay £390 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Councillor Simon Bosher, the city’s traffic boss, said the fine would send out a firm message, adding: ‘The improper use of blue badges undermines the integrity of the scheme, which exists to support those in need.

‘The court, like us, takes this matter very seriously and we will continue to tackle this issue, while ensuring those in genuine need of a blue badge are supported.’