Upmarket cafe owner used dead grandfather’s blue badge to park in Knightsbridge

Alexandra Miller
Alexandra Miller

An upmarket cafe owner was caught using her dead grandfather’s blue badge to park her Mercedes in Knightsbridge.

Alexandra Miller, 36, was nabbed by the council parking her black Mercedes in the disabled parking space in Basil Street, Knightsbridge, west London.

Miller founded EL&N Cafe, which is described as “the most instagrammable cafe in the world” and has numerous sites in London, including one opposite Harrods, and others in Edinburgh, Paris, Milan, and across the Middle East.

She 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.

RBKC said Miller was one of many others caught fraudulently using blue badges in Chelsea.

Alexandra Miller's black Mercedes in a disabled parking spot in Basil Street in Knightsbridge
Alexandra Miller's black Mercedes in a disabled parking spot in Basil Street in Knightsbridge

Marcus Byford, 51, was 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, in Lennox Gardens, Knightsbridge.

City of London Magistrates Court ordered Miller to pay a total of £1,445 in 28 days, made up of a £650 fine and costs of £730, as well as a victim surcharge of £65.

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.

‘No tolerance for those who abuse the system’

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.