West Row man prosecuted for misusing Blue Badge in Newmarket

John Ryan, of West Row, pleaded guilty on July 1st 2024 at Ipswich Magistrates to two offences, namely, to wrongful display of a blue badge contrary to Section 117 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and failing without reasonable excuse to produce the blue badge for inspection when required to do so by a civil enforcement officer, contrary to Section 21 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970.

Ryan was fined, ordered to pay investigatory and legal costs, as well as a victim surcharge all totalling £1674.

On the 15th of December 2023, a West Suffolk Council Civil Parking Enforcement Officer came across a vehicle parked on double yellow lines in the Access Road to Guineas shopping Centre in Newmarket displaying a blue badge.  He noticed a discrepancy with the expiry date and checked the badge number with Suffolk County Council’s Blue Badge Team who found that the badge belonged to a deceased individual and had been cancelled in February 2022 but not returned to the County Council.

Ryan, who was the driver, returned to the vehicle and was asked by the Civil Parking Enforcement Officer to hand him the badge for inspection.  Ryan refused and got in the vehicle and drove away.  The case was referred to Suffolk County Council’s Counter Fraud Service for investigation who found the badge belonged to Ryan’s deceased father.  

Georgia Chimbani, Director of Adult Social Services in Suffolk said ‘’Blue Badge misuse is not a victimless crime.  Disabled parking spaces are a lifeline to disabled people across Suffolk, giving them the ability to access community spaces, shopping and other venues.  I am pleased that this individual was caught and received the fine they did.

I would like to thank the Civil Parking Enforcement Officer in this case who spotted the misuse, and the wider District and Borough councils who help us to enforce the Blue Badge system.”