A SOUTHAMPTON lecturer tried to obtain free parking by using a dead relative’s permit, a court heard.

But his deceit was uncovered by a patrolling traffic warden, the city magistrates were told.

Even then Sucha Singh kept up the pretence that his father-in-law was still alive when challenged by city council officials.

Singh, who teaches at the City College, had parked his mother’s black Ford Escort in a pay and display bay in St Mary Street, leaving his blue badge in the window.

However when enforcement officer Mark Humphries made a check through his hand-held computer, he discovered it had been cancelled because Ronald Gibson – to whom it had been issued – had died.

He also realised the Escort had been there for more than the permitted two hours and slapped a ticket on it.

Prosecutor Mary Kigonya said two city council officials went to his mother’s home in Northbrook Road to check if the car was there and displaying the badge.

Singh came out and produced the permit for inspection.

“He was then asked where the badge holder was and he told the officers he had just dropped him home.

“He was then cautioned and told they knew the badge holder was deceased.

“Mr Singh then admitted this was correct and surrendered the badge.”

In interview, Singh admitted he had parked in St Mary Street for four hours after dropping his mother off at his sister’s where he claimed there was no residential parking, and claimed he had accidentally put Mr Gibson’s badge on display, instead of his mother’s.

When questioned about the use of the badge in Northbrook Road, Singh said he thought he had parked the Escort in a disabled bay.

His mother had been with him and he had put his father-in-law’s badge on display.

Singh, 54, of Burke Drive, Thornhill, admitted two charges of using an invalid permit, and was ordered to pay fines, costs and victim surcharge fee totalling £1,355.

In mitigation, Julie Macey said when the lecturer got the parking ticket, he thought he had parked the vehicle incorrectly: “He had not realised he had used his father-in-law’s and paid the fine.”