Hospital workers and teacher caught using disabled parking permits

Published: Friday 1st September 17

Hospital staff working at St George’s, a gym instructor and a teacher were among nine people taken to court and fined after being caught fraudulently using other people’s disabled parking badges.

The nine defendants were caught misusing “Blue Badge” permits to park their vehicles in streets across Wandsworth. All were using badges that had been “borrowed” from disabled relatives or friends.

Abuse of the system is widespread in London and in other big cities because the permits allow holders to park virtually anywhere they like free of charge.

However the badges can only be used lawfully if the disabled person is either driving the vehicle or being carried as a passenger and being dropped-off or picked-up at that location.

Top row (l-r) Tianna Daley-Smith, Shinaed Ellington, Robert Cooke.
Middle row Patricia Wong-Sharp, Marie Latour, Ingrid Sharp.
Bottom row Attila Selen, Arabella Uranga, Anthony Borg

Among the cases brought to court by Wandsworth Council were Anthony Borg, aged 40, from Carysfort Road in Crouch End, who was misusing a badge issued by a Hackney Council to the disabled child of one of his friends. He was using this badge to park in Effort Street in Tooting whilst working at St George’s. He pleaded guilty to four offences and was fined £830 and ordered to pay a total of £970 towards the council’s prosecution costs.

Attila Selen, aged 33, of Southland Terrace in Purfleet, was caught misusing his disabled brother’s badge to park near a kick-boxing gym on Buckhold Road where he worked as an instructor. He had parked his car in a nearby car park in King George’s Park and also in designated disabled parking bays in nearby Neville Gill Close. He admitted four offences and was ordered to pay £1,458 in fines and costs.

Twenty five-year-old Tianna Daley-Smith of Wayfield Road, Chatham in Kent was using her grandmother’s badge to illegally park in Chatham Road, Battersea outside the nursery where she works as a supervisor and also in Comyn Road, Battersea whilst shopping. She pleaded guilty to five charges and was made to pay £2,402 in fines and court costs.   

Teacher Marie Latour, 49, of Edna Road, Raynes Park, was caught on five occasions illegally parking her car in Wakehurst Road, Battersea, near the school where she works, using her father-in-law’s Merton Council-issued badge. Magistrates ordered her to pay £3,478 in fines and costs.

Patricia Wong-Sharp of Winsham Grove in Battersea was using her husband’s disabled badge to park in Denton Street, Wandsworth whilst attending a course at South Thames College. The 62-year-old was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £892 in costs.

Sixty one-year-old Robert Cooke misused a badge belonging to his partner’s disabled daughter to drive the mile and a half from his home in Brook Close, Tooting so he could park close to where he works at St George’s Hospital. He admitted two offences and was fined £1,260 including costs.

Ingrid Martins, a 50-year-old employee at St George’s and also of Brook Close in Tooting, was caught on four occasions using her daughter’s badge to park near the hospital in Alston Road. She was ordered to pay £2,144 in fines and court costs.

Arabella Uranga of Brookville Road, Fulham was caught using her daughter’s badge to drive to work at a publishing agency in St John’s Hill in Battersea and also in Severus Road whilst visiting a coffee shop. The 45-year-old admitted six charges and was ordered to pay £2,730 in fines and prosecution costs.

And Shinaed Ellington of Alfreda Road in Battersea was caught using a friend’s badge to park on five occasions in Wakehurst Road in Battersea while working at a nearby school. She was ordered to pay a total of £2,044.

In each case the cars being used by these nine defendants were towed away by the council for being illegally parked, meaning an additional £165 penalty for each one.

Wandsworth’s transport spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “Sadly there are many people who try to fiddle the system in this way. The blue badge scheme exists to help disabled people get out and about, drive to work, visit friends or go shopping.

“It was not invented to give their relatives a passport to free parking nor allow selfish able-bodied people to use designated spaces genuinely needed by drivers who have a disability.”

Investigators from the boroughs of Wandsworth, Richmond, Merton, Kingston and Sutton all work together in a partnership set up to combat fraud committed against the public purse across south west London.

Anyone who has information about drivers misusing a blue badge in any of the five boroughs can email swlfp@wandsworth.gov.uk or call (020) 8871 8383.

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Recent comments

With both a mother and a mother-in-law who really need their blue badges because of their infirmities it makes my blood boil when they are misused. Glad that WBC are on the case.
Mark McLellab

4 September 2017

How some folks get 'blue badges' legally can be quite dubious - a lot know how to 'play the system'.
Liz D

3 September 2017

Congratulations to all the blue badge fraud team, liars, cheats and fraudsters are a blight in this society, causing the honest to pay more in taxation.
John J

1 September 2017

Simon, your analysis of the problem is nonsense. None of these was just doing a quick bit of shopping - they were all prosecuted for multiple offences, systematically abusing the system to park (with one exception) at their workplace. Almost unbelievable that so many of them were working at a hospital, school or nursery - doesn't say much for the morality of some of those in the 'caring' professions. Shameful. Yes, supermarkets are a rich source of clearly non-disabled badge use - I particularly recommend Sainsbury's in Garratt Lane, owing to its town centre site and parking charges for those not shopping in the store. It's a private car park, though, which may mean it's not technically a criminal offence.
Osmund Bullock

1 September 2017

Well done Council Officers; keep up the good work in tracking down and stopping this abuse
MARTIN STRATTON

1 September 2017

Well done
Alan Goodwin

1 September 2017

The cost of the parking can't justify such immoral behaviour. If you cant afford to pay for the parking, use other forms of transport. One of the man was parking 1,5 miles from home. Disgraceful.
Mick

1 September 2017

Good, the more checking that is done of blue badges the better. I'd be quite happy to see the numbers of inspectors doubled and even more checked. I've never yet had to have mine checked but would have no problem in having my badge inspected, there are too many people who are obviously able bodied using them fraudulently. I witnessed one person display their badge in a disabled space and then sprint across the road and hurdle the safety barrier like an Olympic hurdler! It boils my blood.
Andrew Law

1 September 2017

Re Blue Badge misuse. Abusers were rightly fined. However, what happened to blue badge owners who allowed their badges to be misused; were the badges confiscated?
N G Patel

1 September 2017

All you have to do is patrol local supermarkets and schools and you will find disabled badges used illegally..Not to difficult..
tom brehony

1 September 2017

This issue is all created by money grabbing councils making parking so ridiculously expensive. Wandsworth you are a disgrace, £1 an hour max for parking and free parking near our local shops for an hour please.
Simon

1 September 2017