Blue badge fraudsters haunted by their actions
The actions of two Blue Badge fraudsters have come back to haunt them having been caught using badges belonging to deceased people.
Another two cheats were caught out by civil enforcement officers using badges while the badge holders weren’t present.
In a bid to crack down on Blue Badge abuse, all four people were called to appear before magistrates last Friday (4 October).
John Aveyard of Tilbury Mount, Holbeck, George Michael of Austhorpe Road, Nazia Hussain of Park View Road, Burley and Phainos Jere of Lincoln Green Court will have to pay out a total of £2,585.
Aveyard was fined £500 and ordered to pay £292 costs and a £50 victim surcharge, while Michael was fined £150 and ordered to pay costs of £350 and a £20 victim surcharge. Both were caught using badges in the names of deceased people.
On 8 May 2013, Aveyard was seen parking in a pay and display bay, placing a Blue Badge in the windscreen and making no attempt to pay.
When approached by an enforcement officer Aveyard claimed to be dropping the badge holder off and parking to join them at work. Aveyard drove off when questioned further by the officer.
A check showed that the badge Aveyard had displayed was in the name of someone who passed away in 2011.
Michael’s car was seen parked in a disabled bay on 9 May 2013. A quick check showed that the badge he’d displayed was in the name of someone who passed away earlier in the year.
Michael admitted using the badge fraudulently when questioned.
Both Hussain and Jere were seen by officers parking in pay and display spaces on 17 April. They were clearly seen on their own and having placed Blue Badges in their windscreens, they walked off without paying.
On questioning, both admitted using badges issued to other people. Blue Badges can only be used if the badge holder is present.
Hussain was fined £300 and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £476 costs. Jere will have to pay out £297 in costs, a £20 victim surcharge and was fined £100.
As all four had wrongfully used Blue Badges, legal proceedings were started.
Councillor Mark Dobson, executive board member for the environment, said:
“Blue Badges are for people who have a genuine disability, not people trying to get out of paying parking fees by committing fraud.
“If your details change or a badge holder sadly passes away, we need to know so we can put a stop to cheats. You also need to be clear on the rules on when you can and can’t use the badges.
“Where we can, we will always seek to prosecute those who abuse the system and disadvantage those who have a legitimate need for a Blue Badge.”
People could have their Blue Badges revoked or renewal refused if they or others persistently abuse them.
They also face a maximum £1,000 fine if prosecuted and found guilty of abusing the system.
See www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/pages/blue-badge-parking.aspx and www.gov.uk/browse/driving/blue-badge-parking for more information.
For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577