A YOUNG woman caught using her dead grandmother’s blue badge told investigators: ‘I’m using it in her honour’.
Emily Davis was caught using the badge in her Mini One in St George’s Square, Portsea.
I was using it in [my grandmother’s] honour. If Gunwharf wasn’t so expensive I wouldn’t have done itEmily Davis to parking investigator
Quizzed by a Portsmouth City Council investigator she claimed her grandmother was shopping nearby.
But in truth, her grandmother Elizabeth Davis died in September 2014 – nearly a year before Davis was caught.
Now the 21-year-old has been fined £750 with an extra £360.20 to pay on top in costs.
Jenny Ager, prosecuting, told how on August 12 last year Davis said she had driven down from London and dropped off her nan.
Ms Ager said: ‘She said “it’s my nan’s badge, she’s shopping, I just dropped her off”.’
Davis repeated this three times, Ms Ager said.
When confronted with the truth, Davis admitted: ‘Yes, I’m lying, I should know better. I used to work in a custody suite.’
She added: ‘I was using it in her honour. If Gunwharf wasn’t so expensive I wouldn’t have done it.’
Ms Ager said Davis also admitted having enough cash to pay for the on-street pay-and-display parking space she had used. In an interview with city council investigators on September 18, Davis acknowledged she had no entitlement to use the badge.
The badge, issued by West Sussex County Council, had been cancelled after her grandmother’s death.
Davis, who wept in the dock at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court, said: ‘I’ve never done anything illegal in my car, no parking things have gone against me. I’ve never parked in inappropriate places.
‘I’ve never used the badge before, it was the first time I’d had it.
‘I’ve learned a huge lesson between now and August, I’ve regretted every moment of it.
‘I’m very sorry for all the trouble I’ve caused.’
Davis must also pay a £75 victim surcharge, meaning she pays £1,121.20 in total.
Cllr Ken Ellcome, cabinet member for traffic and transportation, said: ‘It’s shameful, they’re given to people for a reason and somebody who’s misusing it is using a space that can be otherwise used by somebody else disabled.
‘Portsmouth City Council has been a pathfinder in terms of blue badge enforcement.’
He added: ‘Our parking team are more and more determined to protect the integrity of the blue badge scheme – the courts are right behind us.’
Davis, of Yapton Lane, Arundel, admitted unlawfully use a disabled person’s badge in relation to the parking of a vehicle.