Judge Rules Dentist Must Face Fraud Charges

Dr Chirag Patel faces the possibility of jail and being struck off if found guilty


Mr Patel's Ferrari photographed by WBC

Dentist Uses Dead Father's Blue Badge On His Ferrari

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In October last year we reported on the Putney dentist who used a blue badge to park his Ferrari despite the badge belonging to his father who had died 16 months earlier.

In December '09 Dr Patel was witnessed parking his £140,000 red ferrari california in Montserrat Road, just around the corner from his dental practice in Putney High Street. In October in court he pleaded guilty to misusing the badge but denied the more serious charge of having in his possession an item for use in connection with fraud - contrary to S.6 of the Fraud Act. 
On Monday June 6th at South Western Magistrates’ Court the defense lawyers claimed the charge of fraud was “irrational and oppressive”, and hoped to get the charge dropped but district Judge Barbara Barnes ruled that Wandsworth Council acted properly in pursuing the case.

Prosecution had proof that the badge had been used on more than one occasion.

Last year a Wandsworth Council spokesman said:
"Abuse of the blue badge system is absolutely rife and it's crying out to be be reformed. Most of these unscrupulous drivers use an elderly or disabled relative's badge just to save a few pennies in parking charges - even though that means leaving their relatives languishing at home all day unable to get out. Using a dead person's badge when you're able to afford a Ferrari is particularly objectionable."

Dr Patel must return to South Western Magistrates’ Court on September 9th to face trial.

Wandsworth Council’s transport spokesman Cllr Russell King said:
"It beggars belief that a wealthy, intelligent and able-bodied professional could possibly think he would get away with using a blue badge permit in a bright red Ferrari. He has damaged his reputation for the sake of saving a few pounds. Anyone else tempted to use a blue badge they are not entitled to should heed the lessons of this case.”

In response to growing levels of blue badge abuse, the council's permit fraud team have successfully prosecuted 360 drivers who have been convicted of just under 1,400 offences. These motorists have been ordered to pay the public purse more than £428,000 in fines and costs. Anyone with information about motorists misusing blue badges can contact the council's team of investigators by calling freephone number 0800 085 0866 or emailing parking@wandsworth.gov.uk

June 15, 2011