Drivers ordered to pay hundreds of pounds in blue badge crackdown

SEIZED Fraudster Sarah-Jayne Clarke with, inset, fake and misused blue badges taken by Portsmouth City Counci.
SEIZED Fraudster Sarah-Jayne Clarke with, inset, fake and misused blue badges taken by Portsmouth City Counci.
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FOUR drivers have been ordered to pay hundreds of pounds as part of a crackdown on disabled parking badge fraud.

The group includes care home worker Sasikaran Rasanayagam, who used a badge allocated for taking elderly residents on day-trips to park his own car.

Portsmouth City Council say the prosecutions show they will not tolerate people abusing the system.

Rasanayagam, of Royal Way, Waterlooville, was twice caught using the badge to park his Renault Megane in Pier Road, Southsea, so that he could get the hovercraft to the Isle of Wight, where he worked.

As finance manager for Cornelia Manor residential care home on the island the 33-year-old had access to the badge which was meant for the home.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful use of a disabled person’s badge when he appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.

He was told to pay a total of £597 in a fine, costs and compensation.

Prosecutor Sian Russell said: ‘It’s very important that these disabled badges are only used by the people they are issued to.

‘When somebody who hasn’t got entitlement to use a blue badge uses it you’re taking up a space for someone to use it legitimately and the council is missing out on income from parking.’

Emilio Perez, a caretaker at the University of Portsmouth, used his mother’s blue badge to park his Alfa Romeo in the pay and display car park Guildhall Walk in July.

Perez, 44, of Haslemere Road, Southsea, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful use of a disabled person’s badge.

He was ordered to pay a total of £457.

Sarah-Jayne Clarke, of Station Road, Netley Abbey, Southampton, admitted using her ex-partner’s badge to park in Stanhope Road, Landport, on three occasions in May.

The 22-year-old, who was parking there to go to work at Primark in Commercial Road, was told to pay a total of £395.

The fourth defendant was college student Shelby Smith.

She used her mother’s blue badge to park her Ford Focus in the same car park twice in June.

Smith, of Washbrook Road, Wymering, was ordered to pay £359.

The prosecution is part of an ongoing campaign by Portsmouth City Council which has seized fake blue badges and those being used fraudulently.

The council’s parking team manager Michael Robinson said: ‘Yet again people thinking they can get away with defrauding the council and denying genuine disabled people of the facilities they need.

‘Well they cannot get away with it, and I and the rest of the parking fraud team will ensure they don’t.’