A Brighton man who flouted parking restrictions in the city by parking numerous high end vehicles with unassigned vanity plates has ended up with a bill of nearly £8000.
Julian King, 43, a company director of Withdean Road, Brighton, bought three registration plates with similar numbers, but didn’t assign them to any vehicles.
He then put them on the high value cars he parked illegally, including a Porsche, Bentley, Range Rover, Mercedes, Audi and BMWs, which meant officials were unable to trace him in the usual way as the DVLA do not release information on plates not assigned to vehicles to parking authorities/companies.
But his cunning ploy unravelled when a woman with a vanity plate with just one letter different to one of his was sent 15 tickets in error.
During the investigation into her appeal against them, the ruse was uncovered, and he was then able to be traced back.
PC Mark Bassett said: “While the offences in this case did stretch back over a number of years, when they came to light we were able to find the evidence we needed to bring about this successful prosecution.
“This wasn’t a case of someone trying to get away with a quick stop somewhere they shouldn’t or spending a little too long shopping. This was calculated fraud, pure and simple, and it has been rightfully punished.”
King appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on July 27 charged with three offences of fraudulently using a vehicle registration mark and one of possessing an article in connection with fraud.
He was found guilty of defrauding Brighton and Hove City Council by parking numerous vehicles around the city in resident permit bays, loading bays and on double yellow lines dishonestly, knowing that the plates displayed on the vehicles could not be traced back to him.
The court heard that he also evaded detection by concealing the tax disc in the vehicle on each occasion to prevent authorities establishing the correct owner’s details. The offences involved several high value vehicles, including a Porsche, Bentley, Range Rover, Mercedes, Audi and BMWs.
King was found guilty of using the vehicles to commit the offences on at least 45 occasions over a period of about five years. He was fined £3870 and costs of £2000, compensation was ordered to Brighton City Council of £2000 and there was a victim surcharge imposed of £120.
A number of licence plates owned by King have been revoked by the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency.