A senior traffic warden walked free from court today after he admitted doctoring a map to frame an innocent motorist.
Geoffrey Urwin, 43, (pictured) altered the wording on a map to make it appear as though Peter Harry had parked in a ‘no parking’ bay.
Mr Harry, 67, successfully appealed the £60 parking ticket, before Urwin produced his doctored map, which was immediately spotted as bogus.
Urwin initially claimed a colleague had altered it, but yesterday admitted one charge of wilful misconduct at Exeter Crown Court.
But the judge stunned the court and gave Urwin a conditional discharge, branding the prosecution a ”nonsense”.
He said: ”I’m amazed this case has been brought before me.
”As you have seen this morning I deal with cases of immense seriousness , which is what Crown Court is all about.”
He added: ”I won’t say anything else in case I say something I regret.
“You receive absolute discharge. You may go.”
Urwin was parking support team leader with Exeter City Council when he ticketed Mr Harry’s white Nissan Almera in March 2009.
The retired builder, from Exeter, was legitimately parked in a bay and was stunned to return to his car to find he had been slapped with a ticket.
He immediately appealed, which was upheld, before Urwin altered the wording to read ‘Southenay’ – where parking is illegal – instead of ‘Southenay East’, where it is permitted.
Urwin admitted knowing about the falsification – which took place in June – but claimed his colleagues were to blame.
After yesterday’s hearing, Mr Harry slammed the sentence adding: ”After I received a ticket I went through the appeal process and it was overturned.
”But I then had an e-mail from a member of the council who knew that the map had been falsified. I was outraged and received legal advice telling me to take it to court.
”I’m furious at how the case has been handled. The man works in the public service and he has behaved dishonestly. How can the judge say that this does not belong in court?”
Devon County Councillor Percy Prowse, said after the hearing: ”It’s a disgrace.
”I do not understand why the judge did not comprehend the severity of the situation.
”The amount of money poured into our legal system and he did not even take the time to properly understand what had happened.”
Gross misconduct in public office carries a maximum life sentence, and the Judge did not think this was serious, he is also the exeter city recorder, what does that tell you.