A paralegal who drives a £30,000 Mercedes and tried to fool parking wardens with Tipp-Ex in a bid to save £9 ended up with a £780 fine.
Malikah Richards, 25, only paid £1.80 to park her white Mercedes C220 outside her boyfriend’s house in Portsmouth on October 18 last year – when the day rate was £10.80.
The legal assistant used Tipp-Ex to cover up the ‘1’ before writing ’10’ instead to make it look like she had paid the full fee.
But the parking wardens on patrol in the area weren’t fooled and she was issued with a fine.
When she failed to pay the money, her car was impounded and she was taken to court, where she was forced to cough up £780.
Portsmouth Magistrates Court heard that Richards, of Portsmouth, Hampshire, had accumulated 27 parking fines worth a total of £2,000 since last March.
Malikah Richards, 25, only paid £1.80 to park her white Mercedes C220 outside her boyfriend’s house in Portsmouth – when the day rate was £10.80
Legal assistant Richards used Tipp-Ex to cover up the ‘1’ before writing ’10’ on her parking ticket instead (pictured) to make it look like she had paid the full fee
Prosecutor Ben Attrill told the court that Richards’ car was impounded after the fine was not paid and eventually reclaimed by the finance company she had used to buy the car, as she had also missed payments for it.
He said: ‘Portsmouth City Council parking officers were patrolling the street when they came across a Mercedes parked in a pay and display bay.
‘They inspected the ticket and noticed it had been altered by Tipp-Ex and by hand using black ink.
‘A parking charge notice was issued and the car was impounded. The car was not claimed but was eventually recovered by the vehicle’s finance company which showed outstanding payments on the vehicle.’
Mr Attrill said police eventually got involved and arrested the defendant, who admitted she had faked the ticket when interviewed.
She told them: ‘I only had enough money to pay for an hour.
When she failed to pay the money, her car (pictured being towed away) was impounded and she was taken to court, where she was forced to cough up £780
‘I put Tipp-Ex and pen on the ticket to make out I’d paid for the whole day. I knew why my vehicle had been taken away.’
Richards admitted two counts of fraud for changing the ticket and then using a false one.
She told magistrates: ‘I have pleaded guilty. I no longer have the vehicle. I now have a job but was not working at the time.’
Magistrates told her she had been ‘silly’ trying to fake the amount paid as they slapped her with a £440 fine and ordered her to pay £340.
Speaking after the case, Portsmouth City Council investigations officer Stephen Goodall said: ‘The council impounded the defendant’s vehicle due to the amount of outstanding penalty charge notices and debt accrued.
‘She stated that she would enter a payment plan, and the vehicle was released to her but she reneged on this agreement, and continued to accrue more penalty notices in Southsea, near her boyfriend’s address.’