A Mitcham man who used a blue badge parking permit meant for his disabled nephew has been fined £500.

Croydon Magistrates' Court heard how gas engineer Saad Tariq was caught using the permit by Croydon Council blue badge fraud investigator.

The 39-year-old was seen displaying it in his commercial vehicle in Sydenham Road, Croydon, returning 25 minutes later.

Mr Tariq, of Beecholme Avenue, Mitcham, claimed he was picking up his nephew but the court did not believe his story and found him guilty at a hearing on Tuesday, March 20.

He was fined £500 and ordered to pay costs.

With 10,556 blue badges issued in Croydon, abuse of the scheme is a growing and widespread problem.

Tony Brooks, director of public realm and safety, said: “We have prosecuted a lot of people in the past couple of years and will continue to make sure that the badges are not being abused by able-bodied people who are taking up parking spaces that are meant for people who really do need the parking privileges they give.”