Suffolk man fined for using his dead mother's blue badge to park in Newmarket

The altered badge Paul Harrell used - with the year date changed from 2021 to 2022. Credit: Suffolk County Council

A man who carried on using his dead mother's blue badge and altered the date to try to fool parking officers has been hit with fines and costs of more than £3,000.

Peter Harrell tampered with the expiry date and defaced the photo, but was spotted by an enforcement officer when he tried to park on an access road in Newmarket in Suffolk in November 2021.

Harrell told the officer that the badge belonged to his mother, but she had passed away in August 2020.

He was found guilty of altering a blue badge with the intent to deceive and fined £660 and ordered to pay investigatory and legal costs of £2,778 and a surcharge of £66.

The prosecution was brought by Suffolk County Council.

Beccy Hopfensperger, the council's cabinet member for adult care, said: “This prosecution sends a clear message that the misuse of a blue badge will not be tolerated in Suffolk.

"This is not a victimless crime. Illegally using a badge that isn’t yours is denying a disabled parking space to one of the 43,000 registered blue badge holders in Suffolk who have a genuine need for them."

Kathy Bole, chair of Suffolk Coalition of Disabled People said: “It boggles the mind how rife this problem is and how flagrant the abusers are.

"Disabled people who are physically or psychologically impaired including children need these badges to be safe.”