Two men have been ordered to pay more than £1,000 each for misusing their wives’ blue badges in separate incidents.
Richard Green, from Augusta Street, Sheringham, and William Luxford, from Snaefell Park, Sheringham, failed to turn up their hearings at Norwich Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Wednesday, February 16).
But magistrates heard the arguments put forward by a solicitor working for Norfolk County Council anyway, and opted to fine both of them.
In the first incident, Green had parked his Honda on a single yellow line outside a house he was working at in Beeston Road in the town on July 8 last year at around 11am.
The court heard a council parking officer had seen the blue badge on the car dashboard, but when he spoke to Green soon after the badge had been removed, and Green agreed to move the car. But the officer later spotted the Honda parked on double yellows in nearby Cremer Street, with the blue badge back on the dashboard.
The blue badge, which had been issued to Green’s wife, was seized and he was given a £35 fine for the parking offence, which he paid.
In the other case, a parking officer spotted Luxford leaving a parked Toyota in Church Street, Sheringham, on July 16 last year just after 2.30pm.
The officer saw that the blue badge had been issued to a female, so stuck around to question the driver on his return.
The court heard that when Luxford came back he challenged the parking officer, swore at him and claimed he had just been picking up some prescription medication for his wife at home.
But a council investigator later found out his wife had been in a care home at the time, and he was using her blue badge “out of habit”.
Andrea Middleton, chair of the bench of magistrates, fined Green £440 and ordered him to pay a £44 victim surcharge and £558 in costs. Luxford was ordered to pay a fine of £440, victim surcharge of £44 and £536 in costs.
She said of Green’s offence: “We feel that this is a clear misuse of the blue badge. He was using it for work and he had been given an earlier opportunity to move his vehicle.”
She said of Luxford: “There were aggravating features. He swore at the officer and he lied that his wife was at home.”