A man who used cloned number plates on his car to avoid parking tickets was fined by magistrates in Lynn yesterday.
Kevin Barwise, 48, pleaded guilty to attaching cloned registration plates to his car in an effort to dodge bailiffs and parking tickets.
The court heard that, on November 19, Barwise had been stopped by police on the A47 at North Runcton on suspicion of driving a stolen vehicle.
He admitted to the officers that he was using a false number plate, rather than driving a stolen vehicle. The car’s correct plate was in the boot of the car.
Jane Foster, prosecuting, said: “On November 19 at 13.40 hours information was received that a vehicle travelling on the A47 had a false number plate.
“The vehicle was located in North Runcton. Officers checked the vehicle and the defendant was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle.
“He admitted cloned number plates and adding them to his car to avoid parking tickets and bailiffs.”
The court heard Barwise has been using false number plates since September and simply bought them online for around £20.
Alison Muir, mitigating, said: “He is absolutely mortified that he has got himself into this position.
“It all rose from a £30 parking fine. The bailiffs were involved and the £30 fine ended up a £437 fine.
“The situation got out of control when he was following a vehicle which looked like his own and the foolish thought crossed his mind to change his plate to avoid further fines.
“He googled plates online and found them for a price of £20. He prevaricated about this for some time but did put them on his car.
“He says three weeks has left like three years worrying about this and the experience in the police station is not one his wishes to repeat.
“He works as a school photographer and said he is likely going to lose his job because of this against his name. He said he has been in this job since 1996 and started a business in 2007.”
Barwise, of Spital Street, in Lincoln, was ordered to pay a £150 fine, a £30 victim surcharge and £85 in legal costs.
On hearing the verdict, Ms Foster questioned the magistrates’ decision, asking why they decided to go below the guidelines.
They responded by saying they had taken everything into consideration and stand by their verdict.