Wimbledon Woman Fined For Blue Badge Mis-Use

Court hears she used her dead mother's parking badge

A Wimbledon care home director used her dead mother's disabled parking badge to get free parking, a court has heard.

Magistrates were told that Andree Kerr had been caught using her deceased parent's blue badge to park in Merton Road, Southfields, on three separate occasions.

The 60-year-old company director from Somerset Road, Wimbledon, admitted three offences and was fined a total of £1,317 and ordered to pay the council’s legal costs of £618.

The permits allow holders to park virtually anywhere they like free of charge. However the badges can only be used lawfully if the disabled person is either driving the vehicle or being carried as a passenger and being dropped-off or picked-up at that location.

Since Wandsworth council's fraud team began to actively investigate misuse of the scheme, nearly 600 dishonest drivers have been brought before the courts where they have been convicted of more than 2,300 separate offences. This has led to £720,000 being returned to the public purse in fines and court costs.

Also appearing in court recently was office worker Kayleigh McNamara, 24, of St George's Road, Mitcham, who pleaded guilty to three offences of mis-using her grandmother's badge to park close to Wandsworth town centre whilst at work.

Having considered lengthy mitigation, tthe court ordered her to pay fines of £225, victim surcharge of £20 and a contribution to costs of £150.

Wandsworth Council's transport spokesman Councillor Jonathan Cook said: "Sadly there are lots of people who try to fiddle the system in this way. The blue badge scheme exists to help disabled people get out and about, drive to work, visit friends or go shopping. It was not invented to give their relatives a passport to free parking.

"Instead many disabled people are left confined to their homes and unable to go out because their sons and daughters and grandchildren have taken their badges. This is a form of cruelty and abuse and the reason why there will be no let up in our efforts to catch, identify and prosecute those people who commit these offences."

January 6, 2015