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Nottinghamshire fraudster lied about being delivery driver in bid to avoid parking fines

A Nottinghamshire driver has been ordered to pay more than £2,000 after he parked illegally and lied he was making deliveries. James Barford, of Bluebell Avenue, Cotgrave, has been told he must pay £2,200 in fines, costs and compensation after producing fake delivery notes and invoices in a bid to avoid 11 fines.

Magistrates were told the 34-year-old had collected charges for parking illegally in a loading bay and a residents' parking zone in Leicester near to his place of work. In response to the fines, six delivery notes were faked to challenge them, along with a further five, after he was caught parking in permit-only residential areas on the outskirts of the city centre.

An investigation by Leicester City Council found that Barford had claimed to be making deliveries for businesses and customers on behalf of a firm called JB Designs Ltd - which is not registered with Companies House. Barford had also claimed to be working for Pivotal Retail Marketing on another delivery note, but the deliveries were nothing to do with them, reports Leicestershire Live.

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It was also heard that Barford had initially denied some of the allegations but, during an interview in March this year, he admitted to fabricating the delivery notes to avoid being fined. He suggested that he had acted in this way because he was facing financial difficulties.

Barford pleaded guilty to 11 charges under the Fraud Act for making the false documents. He was fined £846 for fabricating the delivery notes, and charged a further £677 in costs, £630 in compensation and also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £85, totalling £2,200.

The 11 parking fines would have cost Barford just £35 each if he had paid them within 14 days of being issued. In total, the cost would have been £385.

Leicester deputy city mayor with responsibility for regulatory services, Councillor 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.”

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