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Woman is fined after admitting using parking voucher in Bradford
A woman who used her grandfather’s disabled person’s blue badge illegally eight days after he died has been fined in the first prosecution of its kind by Bradford Council.
The parking services department of the Council has vowed to continue to take enforcement action against people who fraudulently use the badges after yesterday’s landmark Court hearing.
Bradford Magistrates’ Court was told a Ford Fiesta belonging to Suzanne Mahon, of Rowantree Drive, Thorpe Edge, Bradford, had been spotted by a civil enforcement officer in Piccadilly, Bradford city centre, on June 23 last year.
It was not displaying a clock, which is required to show what time the driver arrived at the parking space – an offence for which a parking ticket can be issued.
Prosecutor Dennis Schulman said as the officer photographed the badge Mrs Mahon approached him, and when asked whether she was the owner of the badge, she said: “No, it’s my grandad’s.” Mrs Mahon’s grandfather had died on June 15.
Mr Schulman added: “Clearly the driver had no entitlement to use the badge.”
Mrs Mahon, who had pleaded guilty by post to unlawfully using the badge and was not present in court, was fined £170, ordered to pay a victims’ surcharge of £15 and £170 towards prosecution costs.
She had written a letter detailing mitigating circumstances which was handed to the magistrates.
After yesterday’s hearing Harcharan Singh, Bradford Council’s parking services supervisor, said: “We have been getting complaints from genuine blue badge holders saying that they cannot find space to park when they come into the city centre.
“They tell us that there are a lot of people abusing the blue badge scheme so we will be taking enforcement action against anyone who fraudulently misuses a blue badge.
“This case is the first of its kind for Bradford Council and we hope it sends a message out to people that it is not worth the risk of getting caught.
“Blue badge holders have to be with the vehicle when it is parked so we can check whether they are genuine or not.”