Arash Masoudpour, aged 41, from Smethwick, confessed it was not the first time he had done it
A driver fraudulently used a photocopied disabled badge in a bid to avoid ‘extortionate’ parking fees in Birmingham city centre – but now owes £1,800. Arash Masoudpour was approached by a Birmingham City Council enforcement officer after leaving his Mercedes in a bay in Swallow Street.
The 41-year-old handed over a laminated photocopy of his father-in-law’s badge. Masoudpour, of Lincoln Road, Smethwick, a self-employed interpreter, claimed his business had been struggling throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and confessed it was not the first time he had done it.
He admitted a single charge of fraud by false representation at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, June 30, and was fined £1,000 as well as ordered to pay costs of £700 and a victim surcharge of £100. District Judge Jonathan Straw said: “It has turned out to be a very expensive way of avoiding a parking charge.”
Masoudpour was confronted by the council inspector around 9.15am on Tuesday, September 28 last year. David Wells, defending, told the court his client was a recently divorced father-of-two with no previous convictions.
He said: “It is refreshing there is no fanciful or far-fetched explanation. He said ‘I’m guilty, I know what I did was wrong and I’m sorry. It won’t happen again. I have let my family down and my father-in-law’.
“At the time of the incident he was going through a difficult period at home. He is a self-employed interpreter employed across the country. During Covid his self-employed business was struggling financially.
“He wants to leave court with a clean conscience and he said it wasn’t the only time he used that badge. There were three to four other times he used it. Parking in the centre is fairly extortionate.”
Judge Straw agreed with the comment about parking fees but said: “Obviously it is a very serious matter because by using that badge in that way, not only are you committing a serious offence of fraud but you are taking up a place in a bay as an able-bodied person meaning it can’t be used by somebody that has a genuine disability.”