‘Despicable’ Canterbury mum used dead gran’s blue badge in Range Rover
A mum-of-three who used her dead gran’s blue badge to enjoy free parking has been branded “despicable” by magistrates.
Marie Renham, 45 – who lives in an £800,000 house in Canterbury – was caught using the disabled permit in her black Range Rover Sport.
Enforcement officers from the city council discovered the vehicle – complete with personalised plate – in a disabled space in Northgate car park.
The wardens had been told by Kent County Council to be on the look out for the blue badge after the authority received a tip off that Renham had been using it fraudulently.
It had belonged to her grandmother Joyce Robson, who died 18 months before.
Speaking at a hearing at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on Monday, prosecutor James Flannery said: “The blue badge scheme is open to actual disabled people.
“Mrs Robson was a blue badge holder.
“The same blue badge was seen in a vehicle on November 4, 2019.
“DVLA records showed that vehicle belonged to Mrs Renham.
“She says she didn’t display it and did not realise the blue badge was there.”
Following enquires made by KCC’s counter-fraud team, Renham was interviewed under caution.
She told the officers she thought she had paid for a parking ticket before leaving her vehicle in the disabled space.
Renham claimed she had lost the receipt and had “no idea” why there was no record of the purchase.
“There were no copies of any transactions,” Mr Flannery added.
“It was put to Mrs Renham that there was no ticket purchased. She said she did [buy a ticket].”
Ms Robson, who hailed from Merseyside, died in April 2018 – 18 months before officers spotted the badge on Renham’s windshield.
During one of her interviews with KCC, the granddaughter claimed the permit may have slipped to the bottom of her windshield.
“I can’t think of a more despicable thing to do than to use a deceased person’s blue badge in your car…”
Renham, who was representing herself, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation.
“As far as I knew, I bought a ticket,” she reasoned.
“The disabled badge was always in the front of the car. The children always played with it.”
Chairman of the bench Chris MacKenny fined Renham £250, telling her: “It’s absolutely unacceptable.
“I can’t think of a more despicable thing to do than to use a deceased person’s blue badge in your car and deprive somebody who can’t walk a few feet from using that car parking space.”
Renham, who told the court she works as a cleaner for a construction firm, was ordered to pay a further £700 in costs along with a £32 victim surcharge.
The fraudster, of Underwood Close, said she would “try” to pay the total within the next 28 days.