A van driver has been ordered to pay almost £2,000 after being caught misusing a Blue Badge to park in Uxbridge.
Craig Smith, 48, of Lampard Grove, Stoke Newington, was fined for Blue Badge misuse at a hearing at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 3 October, following an investigation by the Hillingdon Council counter fraud team.
The court was told that on Friday 26 May, members of the counter fraud team were taking part in a Blue Badge exercise in Uxbridge High Street, when they noticed a blue Ford van parked on single-yellow lines opposite the Underground station, with a Blue Badge displayed on the dashboard.
When questioned, the driver told the council’s officers he worked for Pinewood Studios and had dropped off a female passenger who had given him the badge to display before she went into the shopping centre 20 minutes earlier, the court heard.
The counter fraud officers ran details of the badge into a nationwide database which listed it as ‘stolen and replaced’ on 8 February 2022. Smith was unaware officers had this information.
As the Blue Badge holder was not present, Smith was issued a PCN for illegally parking on a single yellow line, which was later paid for with a bank card registered in his name on 8 June 2023.
The case of Blue Badge misuse was proved in Smith’s absence by single justice procedure, which allows magistrates to deal with less serious criminal cases without the need for the defendant to be present.
Smith was fined £660, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £264 and the council’s costs of £1,030.
Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said: “We’re determined to ensure our borough is a safe place where residents can live healthy, active and independent lives.
“Blue Badge misuse impacts those residents and visitors with genuine need for accessible parking by preventing them from accessing dedicated spaces, or as in this case, shows contempt for a system designed to enable disabled people to move around the borough freely and independently.
“I thank our counter fraud team for their work bringing this person to justice and I hope it serves as a warning to potential fraudsters that we’ll take robust action when we catch you.”