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A businessman has been fined for parking his £180,000 Lamborghini on a yellow line — using a blue disabled badge his mother found in the street.
Tamer Zinnureyin, 40, initially denied that he was the owner of the red supercar when he was confronted by traffic wardens outside his grocery store in Greenwich.
He then hid inside the cafe he owns next door and refused to come out until police arrived, the council said.
Mr Zinnureyin later told investigators his mother found the badge the previous day and he had put it on the dashboard in an attempt to catch the attention of its rightful owner.
He was fined £440 and ordered to pay costs of £268 with a £44 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to misusing the badge.
Mr Zinnureyin, who owns Village Food and Wine and the cafe Phillies, today admitted he was “embarrassed” by the conviction but insisted it had not been his intention to trick the council.
He said: “If I’m driving a car like that, I can afford to pay a parking ticket. Why the hell would I need to use a disabled badge to park outside?”
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Mr Zinnureyin said he had displayed the badge in his windscreen in December last year because “the person who lost it must be from around here”.
He added: “Imagine finding a wallet on the floor and going to hand it in and being accused of theft? I wish I had just chucked it in the bloody bin. Sometimes doing good is a bad thing.”
The Lamborghini, which the businessman said was bought last year, has a personalised licence plate. Mr Zinnureyin said: “The licence plate has my name but the car belongs to my dad. People shout at me when I’m driving it, but I’m not harming anyone. They don’t even know me but they judge me because of what car I drive.”
He added: “I could have got in the car and driven off if I wanted to. But I’m putting my hands up — it was a really stupid thing that I did. Whatever amount the fine was I would have paid it.”
A spokesman for Greenwich council said: “Investigators spotted the distinctive red car with personalised number plate and a civil enforcement officer was about to issue a penalty charge notice when the 40-year-old stepped out of his restaurant and placed a blue badge on the dashboard.
“When investigators asked to inspect the badge, Mr Zinnureyin denied that it was his car before rushing into the restaurant next door and refusing to come out and surrender the badge.
“Police were called and although they could not find Mr Zinnureyin, family members passed over the car keys and the blue badge was confiscated.
“Mr Zinnureyin attended an interview under caution where he denied stealing the badge. He said that his mother had found it outside the restaurant and gave it to him, with his intention being to return it. However, he admitted misusing the badge.”
Councillor Maureen O’Mara said: “We take rigorous action to stop Blue Badge misuse which is good news for all genuine Blue Badge holders who so often are inconvenienced by other car drivers.”
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