A Canterbury woman who used her dead grandmother’s Blue Badge parking permit to avoid payment at a council car park has appeared in court.
Marie Renham (45), appeared at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on Monday (6 September) and pleaded guilty to fraud by misusing a Blue Badge Disabled Person’s Parking Permit.
On 4 November, 2019, at the Northgate carpark in Canterbury, Mrs Renham parked her vehicle in a disabled parking bay and displayed her deceased grandmother’s Blue Badge. Mrs Renham’s grandmother, Joyce Robson, had died 18 months previously.
Kent County Council, which is the issuing and enforcement authority for Blue Badges in the county, had previously been informed that Mrs Renham was using the badge. KCC asked Canterbury City Council, which is responsible for local parking offences, to look out for the badge being used. The city’s Civil Enforcement Officers spotted the badge being used and reported the misuse to KCC.
Following enquires made by KCC’s Counter Fraud Team, Mrs Renham was interviewed under caution.
Mrs Renham was fined £250 and ordered to pay £700 costs and a £32 victim surcharge. Chairman of the Bench, Chris MacKenny described Mrs Renham’s action in using a dead person’s Blue Badge and denying a disabled person a parking place as “despicable”.
Clair Bell, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “Our partnership working with district councils is becoming highly effective in stopping Blue Badge abuse.
“Not only does this abuse cause a financial loss to district councils and therefore the taxpayer, but there is also significant reputational damage to the Blue Badge scheme – a scheme in place to help and support disabled people.”