A MAN from West Berkshire has been successfully prosecuted for misuse of his grandmother’s disabled person’s parking badge (Blue Badge) in Reading.
Mr Stephen Peacock, age 25, of The Courtyard, Pangbourne, was sentenced at Reading Magistrates’ Court on the 18th January 2019 and was hit with a substantial financial penalty of £860.
On the 4th July 2018, Mr Peacock, a Senior Tax Consultant, parked his grey Mercedes in a disabled bay outside the Forbury Gardens, in Reading town centre, and displayed his grandmother’s badge – whilst she was at home – before going to work.
Mr Peacock pleaded guilty to the offence and admitted to using his grandmother’s Blue Badge wrongfully. He was fined £600 with a victim surcharge of £60 and costs of £200.
Since April 2015, the Council has successfully prosecuted 9 people for Blue Badge fraud. In the same period, the Council has also removed a total of 17 Blue Badges from circulation because of misuse of the badges, and issued a total of 24 penalty charge notices.
Following this successful prosecution and another recent prosecution in November 2018 of a Reading woman who unlawfully used her mother’s Blue Badge for parking during an evening out with friends, Reading Borough Council is reiterating that it will not hesitate to take action where people are found to be committing fraud or abusing the system.
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “This month’s successful prosecution sends out the clear message this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated.
“The Blue Badge scheme is in place to help provide freedom for people with limited mobility by allowing them to park close to their homes or their destination. Blue Badge misuse undermines the system and takes spaces away from those who genuinely need them.”
To report suspected Blue Badge fraud visit: www.reading.gov.uk/fraud