EL&N founder fined for using dead grandad’s disabled badge to park
A businesswoman who founded a trendy cafe popular with influencers and celebrities in London has been fined after she was caught using her dead grandfather’s disabled badge to park her car.
Alexandra Miller, 36, was caught by the council parking her black Mercedes in the disabled parking space in Basil Street, Knightsbridge, west London.
Ms Miller was caught by an officer working for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) using the blue badge belonging to her grandfather, who passed away in 2021, to park her car to go to work last February.
The entrepreneur founded EL&N Cafe in 2017, which claims to be ‘the most Instagram-able café in the world’, on its website and regularly features a variety of influencers from around the world visiting the chain on its social media feeds.
The chain’s flagship store is located opposite Harrods in Knightsbridge, with other branches dotted throughout trendy locations in London such as Carnaby Street, Brompton Road, and inside Selfridges in Oxford Street.
RBKC said Miller was one of many others also caught fraudulently using blue badges fraudulently in Chelsea.
Marcus Byford, 51, was also charged with one count of unlawful use of a disabled person’s badge to park a vehicle last August.
He parked his Audi Q5 Sport, also using his grandfather’s blue badge, this time in Lennox Gardens, Knightsbridge.
Lennox Gardens is one of the most exclusive roads in the capital, where a five-bed flat in a Grade II listed building can sell for around £23m. Small flats in the street can sell for £3.8m.
At City of London Magistrates Court on March 15, they were fined a total of £2,115 in fines, costs and victim surcharges.
Ms Miller was ordered to pay a total of £1445 in 28 days, made up of a £650 fine and costs of £730, as well as a victim surcharge of £65.
Mr Byford was ordered to pay a fine of £300 and costs of £250 plus a victim surcharge of £120. The full amount of £670 has to be paid in 28 days.
The use of blue badges is intended to give disabled people better accessibility by allowing them to park closer to their destination, the council said.
But the misuse of these badges can cause major problems for those who actually need them, the authority added.
Councillor Cem Kemahli, lead member for planning place and environment, said: ‘Disabled parking is crucial for people to live independently and get around our town centres.
‘We will not tolerate those who attempt to abuse this system for their own advantage, denying those who really need it. It’s just not fair.
‘Our officers did a good job to retrieve the blue badges in this case and bring about justice. We will continue to prosecute anyone who misuses disabled badges, as we endeavour to make our borough safer and fairer.’
So far the 15 successful prosecutions launched by the council since last April resulted in £11,472 issued by the courts in fines, costs and victim surcharges, the spokesman added.
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