Out of work Fenland lecturer found guilty of fraudulently using disabled parking badge
POLICE in Fenland helped track down a university lecturer from March who used a fake disabled parking badge in Portsmouth.
“This sends out the message that good joint agency work means that you cannot commit a fraud offence, travel across the country and get away with it,” said PC Keith Hall of Southsea Police.
Anthony Collins was caught using the forged bade by an eagle eyed parking warden who then put a ticket on his Citroen C3.
However when Collins, 45, of Foxglove Way, March, returned to his car and found the ticket he had an angry confrontation with the warden, William Broadhurst who called police.
Initially Collins was accused of assaulting Mr Broadhurst but after a trial at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court he was found not guilty.
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He was, however, found guilty of possessing an article for use in fraud and improper use of a disabled badge.
Collins, who has previous convictions for fraud, must now carry out 150 hours of community service and pay �400 costs.
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PC Hall, licensing officer for Southsea Police, said after the case that bringing Collins to justice was a time consuming and lengthy process.
He said the case arose following an incident on August 23 last year when Mr Broadhurst noted the fraudlent badge being used.
“Later on that night, the vehicle user approached the warden and disputed the ticket,” said PC Hall.
“After leaving the area, extensive enquiries placed the vehicle owner in Cambridgeshire and Cambridgeshire Constabulary located and arrested Collins. He was charged with a number of offences including Section 6 Fraud Act and Section 117 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1994.”
He added: “We are pleased that the seriousness of the offence has been recognised.
“We worked together with the CPS, Portsmouth City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and some diligent police officers from Cambridgeshire Constabulary to bring this offender to justice.
“I believe that Collins thought that as he was so far from home, he could get away with using a fraudulent disabled badge, depriving vulnerable and needy residents of Portsmouth the rightful use of parking bays.”
Councillor Jason Fazackarley, who’s in charge of traffic and transport for Porrtsmouth Council, said: “This is a substantial victory for the disabled people of Portsmouth. The sentence sends a clear message that taking advantage of blue badge concessions in this city when you are not entitled to it is unacceptable.”
Collins claimed the disabled parking badge was issued to him by Cambridgeshire County Council.
But Mark Andrews, from Cambridgeshire council, told the court that was not the case.
Stephen Tricker, defending, said Collins, who is out of work but has been offered a job as a lecturer at a London university, had issues with authority.
“It’s an isolated incident after many years of keeping to the straight and narrow, getting on with his life, having a family and so on and so forth,” he said.