Slough man who used his partner’s disability badge fined

A man who parked in a disabled bay to nip into the pub while waiting to pick up his partner has been fined by magistrates.

Richard Harcup’s partner was the genuine holder of a blue disability badge but was playing bingo and as he waited for a phone call the used it to park in the bay illegally and pop into a pub for a drink.

Magistrates at Reading convicted Mr Harcup in his absence of wrongfully using a disabled person’s badge.

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He was fined £220 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £350 and a victim surcharge of £32.

The 56-year-old, of Rochford Gardens, Wexham Lea, was spotted during a proactive blue badge audit to combat misuse of the disability badges in the borough on December 5. He parked in the disabled bay in High Street West, Slough.

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Officers from the corporate fraud team alongside civil enforcement parking officers were checking people were legitimately using blue badges in the audit.

Those flouting the rules were issued with a Penalty Charge Notice and had the blue badge seized before being requested to attend an interview and being given a caution by way of sanction.

Mr Harcup did initially attend the formal interview process but did not come back for his caution and the decision was taken to prosecute under section 117 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The case was heard at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Friday, November 6.

After the blue badge was initially seized from Mr Harcup’s partner it was returned due to its genuine need.

Cllr Pavitar K. Mann, cabinet member for planning and regulation, said: “People who have been issued a blue badge are in need of the disabled parking bays to be nearer shops.

“They are not for people who want to conveniently park while waiting for their partner.”

During the operation on December 5 a total of 43 badges were checked with 38 being used correctly, one badge was found to be expired and four were being misused and were confiscated.

Slough Observer | News