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Man jailed for forging residents parking permit

A man who forged a residents parking permit has been sentenced to 16 weeks in jail, following a prosecution by Portsmouth City Council.

The prison sentence is thought to be the first to be given in such a case in Britain.

Mark Rouse, 48, of Wilton Terrace, Southsea had been given a temporary parking permit by the council when he moved into the street.

However, when this ran out he did not qualify for a permanent permit because the car he drove was not registered in his name.

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Instead of buying visitor permits, Rouse faked a permanent permit on a computer, using the expired temporary one. But but this was spotted on the car by a parking officer on patrol.

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

At Portsmouth Magistrates Court on 17 June, Rouse pleaded guilty to one offence under the Fraud Act 2006, and one under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

Cllr Ken Ellcome, Portsmouth's Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, 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 other potential fraudsters."

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