Two caught out in Leighton Buzzard Blue Badge sweep

The Blue Badge costs 10 and usually lasts for three years.
The Blue Badge costs 10 and usually lasts for three years.

A Leighton Buzzard woman has pleaded guilty to fraudulently using her father’s Blue Badge.

Marilyn Howard, 63, of Finch Close, admitted the charge via letter at Luton Magistrates’ Court yesterday (1 August).

She was fined £187, ordered to pay £250 towards prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £30.

Ms Howard was caught out during a Central Bedfordshire Council operation tackling Blue Badge fraud on 22 February.

Officers spotted a car parked in a space restricted for Blue Badge holders in Bridge Street car park, in Leighton Buzzard.

Although a Blue Badge was on display, when officers checked they found that the Blue Badge holder was at home and did not realise that his daughter had borrowed it.

Ms Howard claimed that she had needed to park in that spot due to an emergency with her passenger.

And on 9 December, officers spotted a car parked in a space reserved for Blue Badge holders in Lake Street, Leighton Buzzard.

Although the Blue Badge on display was valid, when officers checked they found it was registered not to Frank Lynch, the man parked in the space, but his wife.

Mr Lynch, of Watford Way, Hendon, later told officers that he had taken the badge while his wife was sleeping. He confirmed that he is not disabled and had no right to use the Blue Badge personally.

Mr Lynch admitted Blue Badge fraud at Luton Magistrates’ Court yesterday (1 August) and was fined £440, ordered to pay £250 costs and a £44 victim surcharge.

Councillor Richard Wenham, Executive Member for Corporate Resources and Deputy Leader of the council, said: “Ms Howard had no justification for using her father’s Blue Badge as he wasn’t present, which is why she has been prosecuted for fraud.

“I hope this acts as a reminder that we take Blue Badge fraud seriously here and will take action against anyone found using one unlawfully.”

If you suspect someone of illegally using a Blue Badge you can report it the council by calling 0300 300 8035 or emailing car.badges@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk