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UKIP councillor pleads guilty to misuse of disabled parking badge

Patrick McDonnell
19 April 2017

A UKIP councillor and prospective parliamentary candidate who was caught fraudulently using a friend’s disabled Blue Badge has been found guilty and fined nearly £1,000.

Christopher Adams was found unlawfully using the badge by a Portsmouth City Council civil enforcement officer (CEO) on 17 September last year. Adams appeared before Portsmouth magistrates’ court on 18 April, where he pleaded guilty to the offence. He was fined a total of £994.17. 

The Prosecutor Jenny Ager said that Adams, a UKIP councillor at Buckinghamshire County Council, which also issued the Blue Badge, had parked in a space in Mary Rose Street, in Portsmouth city centre.

He had driven to Portsmouth from Bournemouth to attend a wedding where he told the court he dropped off the badge holder at a conference.

Ager said: “He said he used the badge because he couldn’t find alternative parking, despite there being a multi-storey car park adjacent to where he parked.” 

When challenged by the CEO, Adams told him the badge holder was with him when he parked, noted Ager. “He said that the badge holder was waiting in Guildhall Walk to be collected.”

Kate Watts, defending council, said that Adams had: “made a mistake”. She added: “He parked in the middle bay which was not marked as disabled, the left and right bays were.” 

Watts said the permit had only been on display because Adams had left it on the dashboard from when his friend had been in the car on previous days. 

Adams, who is UKIP parliamentary candidate for Aylesbury, told the magistrates that he was sorry.

Councillor Jim Fleming, cabinet member for traffic and transportation, told Parking Review: “Blue Badge misuse is not just a crime, but it undermines the integrity of the scheme. I’m pleased that the prosecution was successful and we will continue to carry out operations to catch others who are illegally using Blue Badges.”

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