Mother prosecuted for fraudulent use of blue badge
A mother-of-two has been ordered to pay more than £750 by a court after being caught parking in a disabled space without a valid blue badge in Dudley town centre.
Dudley Magistrates Court heard Ayesha Caan parked her Mercedes in a disabled bay in Stone Street, Dudley in December last year before going into the town for an hour to do Christmas shopping.
When she returned to the car alone, she was confronted by a fraud investigator from Dudley Council.
Enquiries revealed a blue badge on display in the car was registered with Wolverhampton City Council to a man Caan claimed was her father.
The court heard further enquiries revealed the applicant named on the badge had reported it as not being sent, and it had been cancelled by the local authority.
The court heard the 43-year-old misled the investigator by providing a false name and address but was eventually tracked down, where she changed her story and claimed the badge belonged to her uncle.
Caan, of The Broadway, Dudley, had initially denied fraud but changed her plea to guilty at the last minute when she appeared at court earlier this month.
Magistrates imposed a £225 fine, a £34 victim surcharge and also ordered Caan to pay £495 costs. She must pay the full sum of £754 within 28 days or face further court action.
Councillor Steve Clark, cabinet member for finance and legal services, said:
This sentence sends out a very strong message that abuse of disabled spaces will not be tolerated.
The Blue Badge scheme is vital for disabled people, allowing them to park closer to their destinations and make their lives easier.
In cases of fraudulent abuse like this one, it is genuine Blue Badge holders that suffer and that is not fair.
The council has a zero-tolerance approach, and we will always use the full force of the law to prosecute fraudsters.