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Founder of EL&N café fined for using dead grandfather's blue badge to park Mercedes in disabled spot

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 21/03/2023 Danya Bazaraa For Mailonline

A businesswoman who founded a trendy café popular with influencers and celebrities has been fined for using her dead grandfather's blue badge to park in a disabled space. 

Alexandra Miller, 36, was caught parking her black Mercedes in a disabled parking spot in Basil Street in Knightsbridge, West London, where recent figures show three bed flats can reach as much as £4million.

Miller was caught by an officer working for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea using the blue badge belonging to her grandfather, who passed away in 2021, to park her car to go to work last February. She must now pay a total of £1,445 in 28 days. 

The businesswoman founded EL&N Café in 2017, opening its first branch in the heart of Mayfair, Park Lane, before other London sites including opposite Harrods in Knightsbridge, Brompton Road, Carnaby Street and inside Selfridges in Oxford Street. It also has branches in Edinburgh, Paris, Milan, Dubai, Jeddah, Riyadh, Doha and Kuwait. 

The firm's website describes it as 'the most Instagram-able café in the world', with celebrities such as former The Saturdays bandmate Rochelle Humes following the account.

Its social media feeds show influencers from around the world visiting and Love Island's Kady McDermott and Millie Grace Court have also been snapped inside one of the pink-themed cafés.  

Alexandra Miller, 36, who founded EL&N Café in 2017 has been fined 

Alexandra Miller, 36, who founded EL&N Café in 2017 has been fined 
© Provided by Daily Mail

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

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.

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.

Miller was caught by an officer working for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Miller was caught by an officer working for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
© Provided by Daily Mail

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.

A spokesperson for EL&N said that as the case has been dealt with by the court, there is 'no comment to make' by Miller.

EL&N stands for Eat, Live and Nourish and its branches have iconic pink interiors, flower walls and alternative lattes.

'Our brand embodies creativity, style and optimism and our dedicated team of baristas, chefs, marketeers and industry experts work together to bring the EL&N vision to life,' its website says. 

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