Jon Masters 26 June 2015

Landmark jail sentence handed to parking cheat

A motorist has been given 16 weeks in jail for forging a resident parking permit – believed to be the first prison sentence handed out for such an offence in Britain.

According to Portsmouth City Council, Mark Rouse, 48, of Wilton Terrace in Southsea in Portsmouth was given a temporary parking permit when he moved into the street. When this ran out he did not qualify for a permanent permit because the car listed on the permit was not registered in his name.

Instead of buying visitor permits to allow him to continue to park, he faked a permanent permit on a computer from the expired temporary one. But the phoney permit was spotted on the car by a parking officer on patrol.

Confronted at his home by a council investigator, he admitted using the counterfeit permit for up to six months.

At Portsmouth Magistrates Court, Rouse pleaded guilty to one offence under the Fraud Act 2006, and one under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

Portsmouth City Council cabinet member for traffic and transportation, cllr Ken Ellcome, said: ‘Residents of many streets in Portsmouth value their permits because they mean it's possible to park near their homes.

‘Forging a pass is an attempt to cheat the system and claim a parking space that isn't yours – stopping other people using it. I hope the sentence will deter others from doing the same.’

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