A SOUTHAMPTON man who used a dead person’s disabled badge to park in the city centre has been hit with a bill of more than £3,000.
Michael Benson parked his car in Ordnance Road using a disabled person’s blue badge instead of paying for a ticket.
However, the real owner of the permit, and who was from London, was dead at the time.
Benson, 25, failed to attend his hearing at Southampton Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
He was convicted of three charges of blue badge misuse and a single offence of failing to produce a blue badge.
He has been ordered to pay a total of £3,150 in costs and fines.
In Mr Benson’s absence, the court heard how he had used the dead person’s badge to park for free in pay and display bays during charging hours in Ordnance Road, on three occasions; December 16, 2020, and January 25 and 28 this year.
A Civil Enforcement Officer’s body-worn video captured footage of him failing to produce a Blue Badge for inspection when asked to do so on January 28.
Cabinet member for environment, councillor Steven Galton said: “For those living with a disability, blue badges can be literally life-changing.
“Southampton City Council takes the misuse of Blue Badges extremely seriously and will take appropriate enforcement action when needed.
“It’s essential we maintain the integrity of the scheme and protect valuable parking spaces for genuine Blue Badge holders.
“This conviction highlights the hard work of our Parking Services and Legal teams and will hopefully act as a deterrent to anyone who would consider wrongfully using a Blue Badge.”
In July, Southampton University student, Mathasun Ratnakumar, was ordered to pay £5,000 for using his grandmother’s badge to park in Terminus Terrace and College Street.
During the five incidents which happened between January and March this year, he was not with the woman.
The 22-year-old of Whitby Road, Harrow, failed to attend court last month.
He was found guilty in absence of four counts of making false representations to evade payment of penalty charge notices.