Two fraudsters have been caught using Blue Badges belonging to dead people.
John Aveyard, of Tilbury Mount, Holbeck, and George Michael, of Austhorpe Road, Cross Gates, were told to pay a total of over £1,350 for misusing the badges, which are intended to help disabled people park closer to destinations, at a Leeds Magistrates Court hearing.
Aveyard parked in a pay and display bay, placed a Blue Badge in the windscreen and made no attempt to pay on May 8.
When approached by an enforcement officer, he claimed to be dropping the badge holder off and parking to join them at work but driving off when quizzed further. A check of the badge found its owner died two years ago.
The following day Michael’s car was spotted in a disabled bay and when questioned he admitted using the badge fraudulently after it was found the badge’s owner died earlier in the year.
Coun Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s lead member for the environment, said: “Blue Badges are for people who have a genuine disability, not people trying to get out of paying parking fees by committing fraud.
“If your details change or a badge holder sadly passes away, we need to know so we can put a stop to cheats.”
Aveyard was fined £500 and ordered to pay £292 costs and a £50 victim surcharge, while Michael was fined £150 and ordered to pay costs of £350 and a £20 victim surcharge during last Friday’s hearing.
Residents can have Blue Badges revoked or have renewal refused if they or others abuse them. They also face a maximum £1,000 fine if prosecuted.
Wayne Hoyle, treasurer of the Rothwell Rollers charity that transports elderly and disabled people, said: “They’re wrongly using disabled parking spaces. It’s morally reprehensible.”
Two more cheats, Nazia Hussain, of Park View Road, Burley, and Phainos Jere, of Lincoln Green Court, Burmantofts, were also caught using badges while the holders were not present.
Both Hussain and Jere were seen on their own by officers parking in pay and display spaces having placed Blue Badges in their windscreens, before walking off without paying on April 17.
Both admitted using the badges issued to other people.
Hussain was fined £300 and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £476 costs. Jere will have to pay £297 in costs, a £20 victim surcharge and £100 fine.
Visit www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/pages/blue-badge-parking.aspx for information.