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Kingston prosecutes its first blue badge cheat
7:00am Thursday 18th October 2012 in News
A driver was fined nearly £1,000 after she was caught wrongly using her disabled mother in law’s parking badge.
Andrea Patrick, 56, of Villiers Close, Surbiton, admitted seven charges of misuse of a disabled person’s blue badge at Richmond Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, October 9.
Patrick repeatedly parked her Vauxhall Astra in Fife Road, Kingston, and wrongly avoided paying by displaying a disabled parking permit, which Kingston Council said belonged to her mother in law.
She was sentenced to a fine of £235 for the first offence, which took place on March 14 this year, and was given extra fines of £60 for the remaining six offences, the last of which was on April 4.
She was also ordered to pay £360 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge, so was faced with a total bill of £970.
The council said the conviction was its first blue badge prosecution.
The disabled parking badge, which was issued by Bath and Somerset Council, was spotted by Kingston officers and checks confirmed it had been issued to an 86-year-old.
Surveillance showed it was being used by Patrick, who worked in Kingston town centre, so she was arrested and the badge confiscated.
Councillor Penny Shelton, Kingston Council’s lead member for healthy living and adult support, said: "Motorists who pretend to be disabled to get free parking close to important services prevent real blue badge holders from using parking bays designed for those genuinely in need and are a disgrace.
"These cheats will not be tolerated so our thanks go to the hard work of council officers and our partners in the Kingston police town centre team for this successful prosecution."