Lies catch out Blue Badge cheats
Being economic with the truth proved to be a false economy for two Blue Badge cheats.
Anthony Hillyard of Westbourne Gardens, Garforth and Jayne Hewitt, Altofts Lodge Drive, Wakefield were tripped up by lies they told when found illegally using Blue Badges.
Leeds Magistrates last week ordered Hillyard to pay a £55 fine plus costs of £386.21 and a £20 victim surcharge.
Hewitt must now pay costs of £100, victim surcharge of £20 and a £35 fine.
Hillyard’s car was parked on double yellow lines on 18 June. Civil enforcement officers checked the Blue Badge on display and discovered that the badge holder had passed away.
Officers issued a penalty charge notice which Hillyard appealed stating he’d rushed his relative, also the badge holder, to hospital in an emergency.
Further checks confirmed that the badge holder had died earlier in the year. Although Hillyard paid the penalty notice for parking illegally, he’d still used the badge of a deceased person – also an offence – and so was prosecuted.
On 24 June, civil enforcement officers checked the Blue Badge on the dashboard of a Hewitt’s car parked in a pay and display space.
When it became clear that the badge holder wasn’t and hadn’t been present when the car was parked, officers cautioned Hewitt and issued a penalty notice charge for non-payment of the relevant parking fee.
Hewitt continued to lie about the whereabouts of the badge holder in an attempt to excuse her actions.
Although Hewitt eventually admitted mis-using the badge as the officers suspected and uncovered, she’d still committed an offence by using the badge while the badge holder wasn’t present.
Councillor Mark Dobson, executive board member for the environment, said:
“There is no excuse for mis-using a Blue Badge and there is no point lying about it when caught.
“Blue Badges are issued to help people who have a genuine need. While we have sympathy for those who need to make use of the scheme, we certainly don’t for those who use it to cheat the system and then lie to try to weasel their way out of trouble.”
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