A pensioner who used his wife as cover by wrongly using her disabled badge while she was at the doctors compounded his error by committing fraud.
Phillip Holmes, 68, was caught out when displaying his wife’s blue badge in Landport Terrace in Southsea on October 14, 2020.
But despite protesting his innocence and claiming he had ‘good understanding of the rules’, Southsea resident Holmes then embarked on a flurry of lies.
Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard how ‘stupid’ Holmes, of Cockleshell Gardens, Eastney, lied after a Portsmouth City Council enforcement officer inspected the Hyundai vehicle parked up – resulting in a penalty charge notice being handed out.
Phillip Holmes pictured leaving Portsmouth Magistrates Court where he appeared for a Blue Badge offence.
Checks revealed the badge belonged to Holmes’ wife who confirmed she was at the doctors over a mile away.
Responding to the notice on October 20, Holmes lodged an appeal stating he had ‘displayed the badge correctly and the badge holder was with him’.
‘(Holmes) said he took his wife to a nearby pub and they stayed there for an hour and a half,’ prosecutor Mary Kigonya said.
‘(Holmes) said he was confused why he had been given a ticket and said his wife had had the badge for 15 years and he, therefore, had a good understanding of the rules of when he could and could not use it.’
In his appeal letter Holmes implied his wife was with him. He wrote: ‘Went to the machine.. saw that it was free parking for disabled people. I put on the blue badge (with) correct time and correct way round. And we left the car.’
Holmes’ tale was rejected before he wrote a new letter on October 23 where he gave a ‘new account’ where he said he used the badge because he did not have enough money to pay at the meter.
‘He admitted his actions were stupid and he accepted he lied,’ Ms Kigonya said.
Holmes revealed he had actually gone to the dentist and not the pub while his wife was at the doctors.
Holmes, who admitted a charge of unlawfully using a disabled person’s badge and a count of fraud by false representation, was handed a 12-month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work.
He was also told to cough up £100 costs and pay a £95 surcharge.
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