Fraudster steals ‘dead man’ identity to avoid £ 15,000 parking fines
Fraudster Rio Beardmore registered his van as a ‘dead man’ – after racking up parking fines totaling £ 15,000.
The locksmith entered James Sharman’s apartment and stole his ID in an attempt to avoid parking penalties.
But Beardmore’s daring scam came to an end when it emerged that Mr Sharman was still alive and receiving bailiff requests.
Now the father-of-one has left Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court with a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
The 50-year-old – who admitted to cheating and driving without insurance – has collected parking tickets in London, Nottingham and Stoke-on-Trent.
Prosecutor Emma Rutherford said: “On February 18, 2020, he committed fraud by registering a pickup truck in James Sharman’s name. He did this to avoid paying parking fines. On February 25, he traveled to London in this van. He was fined and then parked at the Heston West gas station and did not pay for the parking. These two fines were sent to Mr. Sharman.
“On June 25, 2020, he drove to Nottingham and parked illegally. The council issued a parking ticket. On July 2, 2020 he drove to Nottingham and parked in a disabled bay on Victoria Street and for this he was fined £ 105.
‘On August 3, 2020 he visited Nottingham again and was fined £ 70 for improper use of the bus barrier. On August 24, 2020, he parked on Lichfield Street in Stoke-on-Trent and was fined. “
The fines were sent to Mr. Sharman’s address.
Ms Rutherford added: “Mr Sharman was not aware of these fines. His stepfather went to visit him and there was a lot of post for him. He had received parking fines that he was not aware of. Some letters were bailiff’s letters. Mr. Sharman contacted the police.
“Mr. Beardmore did not deny being responsible for the fines. He said he would fix it. Mr. Sharman took a day off to resolve this issue. “
Beardmore was questioned at Hanley Police Station last October.
Ms Rutherford added: “He admitted to registering the van in Mr Sharman’s name. He said residents of Mr Sharman’s apartment had said Mr Sharman was dead.”
Mr Sharman called the whole experience “very traumatic”.
In a statement, he said: “This strained my relationship with my children. I lost my stable family life. I am still being pursued by the judicial officers.”
Beardmore was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Psychosis.
Peter McCartney, mitigating, said: “He is a man who can stay out of trouble despite the education he has had.
“He has remorse. He has a young son and is trying to relaunch his business. His 10-year-old son, his partner and his business will be affected by his imprisonment. “
The suspended sentence includes 100 hours of unpaid work, a 30-day pardon order, a compensation order and eight points on his license.
Judge David Fletcher said: “You describe yourself as a locksmith. You entered Mr. Sharman’s apartment and stole his identity to obviously register your vehicle in order to avoid fines.
“It was a man who drove this van and parked it where he wanted. There was a lot of planning.