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Driver faked paperwork to try to avoid fines

Published on Tuesday, November 22, 2022

2 minute read

Close up of traffic warden at yellow lines

A MAN who claimed to be making deliveries when he was repeatedly caught parking illegally in loading bays and residents’ permit areas has been ordered to pay more than £2,200 in fines, costs and compensation.

James Barford produced fake delivery notes and invoices in an attempt to dodge a series of parking fines which had been issued to him for repeated illegal parking, first in a loading bay and later in a residents’ parking zone, near to his place of work.

Leicester magistrates heard how Barford faked six delivery notes in order to challenge fines incurred for parking in a loading bay near his place of work at Pivotal Retail Marketing Ltd, Rutland Street, in Leicester city centre, between August 2020 and March 2021.

He then produced a further five fake invoices to challenge fines issued after he was caught parking in permit-only residential areas on the edge of the city centre during April 2021, including West Street, Newtown Street, Lancaster Road, Lower Hastings Street and Tower Street.

In all 11 cases he claimed he was making deliveries to nearby businesses and customers.

Barford, aged 34, of Bluebell Avenue, Cotgrave, Nottingham, was interviewed under caution in February 2022, after Leicester City Council investigators realised the details of firms he claimed to be delivering to didn’t add up.

Despite initially denying some of the allegations, he was interviewed again in March 2022 and admitted creating the delivery notes to avoid paying the parking fines, citing financial difficulties as the reason behind his behaviour.

On November 16, he pleaded guilty before Leicester magistrates to 11 charges under the Fraud Act, for making the false documents.

The court hear how nine of the delivery notes Barford had produced claimed he was making deliveries on behalf of a firm called JB Designs Ltd – but checks revealed no such business was registered with Companies House.

Another fraudulent note was used to claim he was making deliveries to Pivotal Retail Marketing Ltd – but the suppliers confirmed the deliveries weren’t theirs.

Barford was fined £846, ordered to pay £677 costs, £630 compensation and a victim surcharge of £85 – making a total of over £2,200.

The 11 parking fines would have cost Barford £70 each – reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days.

Leicester deputy city mayor with responsibility for regulatory services, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “The defendant was repeatedly parking illegally in areas close to his work and when he was caught out, he faked documents to make it look like he was making deliveries.

“Not only was he trying to avoid paying for parking, but also providing fake invoices to try to dodge paying the parking fines he’d incurred. That is quite simply fraud.

“Offences under the Fraud Act are very serious offences with the potential outcome of a prison sentence.

“The defendant has now had to pay far more money than the fines themselves in the costs, fines and compensation resulting from this successful prosecution.”