Malikah Richards’ flashy white Mercedes-Benz towed away
A paralegal has been caught using Tipp-Ex to alter a parking ticket in a bid to save £9.
Malikah Richards, a paralegal at Churchers Solicitors, tried to get away with paying just £1.80 for a day’s parking in Southsea, Portsmouth in October last year. The usual day rate to park in the pay and display bay costs £10.80.
The 25-year-old, who was visiting her boyfriend at the time, failed to dupe the authorities, however, as Portsmouth City Council parking officers discovered the fraudulent ticket while carrying out routine patrols. Upon inspection they spotted signs of Tipp-Ex use: the young paralegal had whited out the ‘1’ and replaced it with ’10’ using a black pen in an attempt to make it look as if she had paid the correct amount. The fare-dodging paralegal’s ploy backfired and a parking charge notice was issued.
Richards’ car, a white Mercedes-Benz C Class, was impounded by authorities after the fine was not paid last month. The legal worker had amassed over £2,000 in parking fines since March 2018 after being issued with 27 notices.
Richards was arrested following her failure to pay up. She told officers she “only had enough money to pay for an hour” before confessing: “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, who was unemployed at the time, admitted two charges of fraud for tampering with the ticket and then using it. Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court ordered her to pay a £440 fine, costs of £300 and a £40 surcharge.
Her Merc was eventually reclaimed by the finance company used to purchase the car, as Richards also had outstanding payments to make for the vehicle.
Kevin McKee, parking team manager at Portsmouth City Council, told The Portsmouth News:
“I couldn’t believe that someone thought they could get away with altering a pay and display parking ticket with Tipp-Ex to avoid paying for parking… We’ll continue to seek out people who commit fraud and prosecute them.”
For a weekly round-up of news, plus jobs and latest event infoSign up to the Legal Cheek Newsletter