When a Dunstable man was discovered fraudulently using a Blue Badge he told officers that the permit holder – his mother in law – was usually with him, but not on this occasion.
However, when they checked it turned out she had died more than two and a half years earlier.
Now Martin Lyons has paid the price for his actions, being left almost £1,000 out of pocket following a case heard at Luton Magistrates’ Court this week (Tuesday, 8 August).
Lyons, 64, of Durham Road, was spotted displaying a Blue Badge and parked in a space reserved for Blue Badge holders in Ashton Square car park during a Blue Badge fraud exercise on 9 December 2016.
Officers discovered that the Blue Badge had expired and issued a penalty charge notice. Further checks revealed the badge holder had died in April 2014 and it should therefore have been returned to the council.
Lyons was invited to an interview under caution on two separate occasions but failed to attend – and he was also not present for the court hearing.
He was fined £700, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £70 and £200 towards court costs.
Councillor Richard Wenham, Executive Member for Corporate Resources and Deputy Council Leader, said: “We understand that when a close family member dies that returning their Blue Badge to the council may not be the first thing on their relatives’ minds.
“However, Lyons brazenly continued to use the Blue Badge more than two and a half years after his mother in law’s death. As a result, he now has a criminal conviction to his name as well as facing a hefty bill for his actions.
“Our crackdown on Blue Badge fraud is in direct response to residents’ concerns because people illegally parking in spaces reserved for Blue Badge holders are taking a space from those with mobility problems and other disabilities who genuinely need them.”
If you suspect someone of illegally using a Blue Badge you can report it the council by calling 0300 300 8035 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org