A BLUE badge fraudster modified his dead dad's permit in order to avoid parking charges.

Stephen Mellor took his father's blue badge and modified it to make it look valid – changing the expiry date from 2017 to 2020.

But he was caught out on two occasions by eagle-eyed enforcement officers, who caught Mellor using the badge in a pay-and-display car park to avoid a charge.

Hampshire County Council and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council say Mellor has now been "brought to justice".

The 66-year-old has had to pay more than £3,000 after a hearing at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court.

The court was told how parking enforcement officers from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council spotted Mellor using the altered blue badge for his Range Rover.

He was seen on two occasions between May and June 2018, using the blue badge in order to leave his vehicle parked without payment in Churchill Way car park in Basingstoke.

This led to a detailed investigation involving Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council, which unearthed that the badge belonged to Mellor's deceased father.

The council also found that the deceased's badge expired in 2017, but had been altered to show a false expiry date of 2020.

A Hampshire County Council spokesperson said: "It is a criminal offence for a person to: use a badge that does not belong to them; to alter a badge; to create a copy of a badge; to use an expired badge; and to commit any form of fraud relating to the use of a blue badge, or acquiring a blue badge.

"Hampshire County Council, as the blue badge issuing authority, is responsible for blue badge enforcement in Hampshire.

"Together with the district and unitary councils who are responsible for their local parking enforcement, the local authorities work together to identify potential or proven misuse and respond to allegations of misuse.

"These investigations, as in this case, can lead to prosecution should they be deemed serious enough."

Mellor, of Cuffelle Close, Basingstoke, appeared at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court last week.

He pleaded guilty to one count of fraud for adapting the disabled badge, and two further dishonesty charges for using the altered badge.