Woman convicted of blue badge fraud as amnesty continues

Blue badges SUS-151006-165427001
Blue badges SUS-151006-165427001

As part of an amnesty, council bosses have revealed a motorist from St Leonards fraudulently used her dead father’s Blue Badge to park in a disabled bay.

Marion Donnelly, of Bulverhythe Road, was caught displaying the badge in her car in Western Road, Bexhill, on March 13 – more than a year after her father died.

In a hearing at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court on May 15, Donnelly admitted one count of fraud and was handed a four-week community order with a requirement to stay indoors between the hours of 8pm and 7am daily.

The 58-year-old was also ordered to pay £150 court costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Cllr Carl Maynard, East Sussex County Council lead member for transport and environment, said: “Blue Badges are for motorists who have severe mobility problems or are registered blind.

“This is not a victimless crime - people who misuse badges are using up spaces required by people with a genuine need.

“The use of each fraudulent badge can also cost the taxpayer up to £5,000 in lost parking revenue and the cost of installing more disabled bays.

“We will not hesitate to prosecute people who abuse the system and this conviction should send a clear message that offenders will be brought to justice.”

Anyone who has a Blue Badge they’re not entitled to can take advantage of an amnesty which allows them to return it without penalty to a number of locations including libraries, parking shops and county council offices.

The amnesty, which runs until Monday, June 22, follows a crackdown on misuse of Blue Badges and is part of Operation Bluebird, a joint initiative between East Sussex County Council, Brighton & Hove City Council and Sussex Police to tackle the issue.

During the amnesty, Blue Badges can be handed in at the Parking Shop, Kings Road, Hastings, Ocean House, St Leonards, Hastings Library and Bexhill Library.

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