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22 January 2014, 13:13 | Updated: 22 January 2014, 13:17
A Bournemouth woman has been fined £500 following a successful prosecution by Bournemouth Council after she pleaded guilty to Blue Badge misuse.
The Blue Badge (Disabled Parking Scheme) helps disabled people park closer to their destination.
The misuse was identified following a report from a member of the public to a parking officer and subsequent investigation by the Council’s Corporate Fraud Team.
The badge in question had expired but had been altered to show that it was current. The recipient of the original blue badge passed away several years ago.
Ms Ross, aged 45, of Glenferness Avenue, Bournemouth, was also ordered to pay a contribution towards Council costs of £500.58 and a £15.00 victim surcharge at Bournemouth Crown Court on Wednesday 8 January 2014.
The level three offence can have a maximum fine of £1000, but as a first offence Ms Ross was fined half the maximum and ordered to pay nearly all Council costs.
Councillor Anne Filer, Cabinet Member for Corporate Efficiency, said:
“To those people who attempt to use Blue Badges fraudulently, this conviction sends an important message – You will not get away with it!
"The vast majority of Bournemouth residents are honest and truthful in the way they claim and use Blue Badges.
"The public will be reassured that our professional team of officers will seek out and prosecute this minority of fraudsters. Over the coming months, the Council will conduct more pro-active exercises around Bournemouth in order to identify further offenders and ensure the system not being abused”.