Mercedes driver caught using 90-year-old disabled woman’s stolen blue badge
Published: Wednesday, August 16, 2023
A Mercedes driver from Tooting who used a stolen blue badge to avoid the cost of a parking permit has ended up being hit with fines and costs amounting to more than £3,700 and earned himself a criminal record.
Irzan Jsufay used a disabled persons parking permit that had been stolen from a 90-year-old woman living in Hertfordshire whose car had been broken into.
The 27-year-old was using the badge to park near to his home in Herlwyn Gardens.
If he’d bought a parking permit it could have cost him as little as £3.60 a week to park legally.
When he appeared before Lavender Hill Magistrates Mr Jsufay pleaded guilty to three offences of fraudulently using a blue badge with intent to deceive. He admitted buying the badge from an unauthorised source and knew he was wrong to use it.
The district judge who heard the case found that Mr Jsufay “showed no remorse and had sought to minimise his actions”. Passing sentence he highlighted the damage caused to the disabled Blue Badge scheme by it being undermined by these sorts of offences.
Taking into account Mr Jsufay’s ‘guilty’ plea and previous good character and his means, the judge ordered him to pay a total of £3,480 in fines and costs.
In addition, Mr Jsufay had his car impounded which cost him an additional £255 in recovery charges.
Abuse of the blue badge 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.
Jenny Yates, Wandsworth’s Cabinet Member for Transport said: “Not only has this proved a very expensive lesson for this individual, it’s also landed him with a criminal record for fraud which could have very serious ramifications for him in the future.
“And what mustn’t be overlooked is the undoubted distress, cost and inconvenience this trade in stolen blue badges will have caused to the elderly woman whose badge it was and whose car was broken into.
“Unfortunately 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 able-bodied people a passport to free parking nor allow selfish drivers to use designated spaces genuinely needed by those who have a disability.”
The case was brought to court by investigators from the boroughs of Wandsworth, Richmond, Merton, Kingston and Sutton who 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (020) 8871 8383.