A FATHER who took advantage of his dying granddad’s disabled badge to illegally park for free during trips to see his girlfriend has apologised for his actions.
Perry Hore was caught red-handed on two occasions using his severely-ill relative’s blue badge to park in Southsea.
The 28-year-old, of London Road, Hilsea, had parked his Ford Fiesta on double-yellow lines in Palmerston Road, on September 29 last year while visiting his girlfriend, who had recently given birth to their child.
Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard how Hore’s vehicle was spotted by a parking enforcement officer from the city council, who identified the badge holder as a 76-year-old from Havant.
The vehicle had been parked for more than three hours in the road, prompting the enforcement officer to issue a penalty notice.
‘Following the issue of that notice, the defendant exited from a nearby property and approached the vehicle,’ said prosecutor Ben Attrill.
‘The officer introduced himself and asked the defendant for the disabled badge to be presented to him.
‘The defendant refused. He stated he had not been parked for over three hours. The officer made a further request for the badge to be handed over.
‘However, the defendant stated as he had been given a penalty charge he would not show the badge to the officer.
‘The defendant is described as becoming verbally abusive to the officer and eventually leaves the area.’
Mr Attrill told the court Hore had admitted to another officer, later that day, he parked in that spot ‘every day as he visits his partner and baby who live nearby’ in a conversation captured on body-worn camera.
Just over a week later, on October 7, Hore was caught once again illegally using his grandfather’s badge to park, this time in Auckland Road West while shopping.
Again, Hore refused to produce the badge when asked to by the enforcement officer.
Hore, wearing a grey hoodie and shorts and who attended the hearing with his child, admitted two charges of unlawfully using a disabled person’s blue badge and two charges of failing to produce a blue badge.
Speaking from the dock, the apologetic defendant told magistrates: ‘At the time I had just had a newborn baby and my granddad was literally on his last days – he died in February.
‘I was just doing too much in such little time, so I did use the badges when I wasn’t supposed to.
‘I had the badges to take my granddad to hospital appointments, which he needed three times a week. That’s the reason why I was in possession of the badge but I used them inappropriately.
‘So much was going on and I just did something that I shouldn’t have done and I apologise.’
Addressing Hore, magistrate Ruth Dash said: ‘This is a serious offence. The reasons that made it serious was the fact that there is more than one charge, you did these offences more than once, you were abusive when challenged and there was a fraudulent use of a blue badge.’
Hore was fined a total of £604 for his crimes.
Councillor Lynne Stagg, cabinet member for traffic and transportation at Portsmouth City Council said: ‘Blue badges should only be used for parking when the badge holder is present and should not be used by other family members when they are on their own in order to obtain free parking.
‘Our officers carry out an incredibly important role in tackling disabled badge misuse and motorists are required by law to show them a badge if requested to do so. It is unfair to genuine badge holders who need the parking spaces when people misuse the scheme.
‘We hope the fine will act as a deterrent to Mr Hore and that in future he will pay for his parking. We will continue to keep taking action against anyone illegally using blue badges in Portsmouth.’