'Not acceptable' - Shop staff must pay £2,000 after blue badge misuse

 A parking enforcement officer making sure Norfolk's Blue Badge holders are on the right side of the

A parking enforcement officer in Great Yarmouth - Credit: Nick Butcher

Two jewellery shop staff have been hit with £2,000 court costs after they illegally used a blue badge parking permit.

Neil Capper had lent his blue badge to fellow worker Richard Guymer so he could park in Great Yarmouth's White  Horse Plain.

As both men were sentenced at Great Yarmouth Magistrates' Court,  their behaviour in illegally using a blue badge was described as "not acceptable" by the chair of the bench.

Blue badges are disabled parking permits which allow eligible people to park closer to their destinations.

The court heard that on April 23 a Norfolk County Council blue badge enforcement officer saw Guymer's car was in a 60 minute parking area and had a blue badge in, which allowed him to park for longer.

After questioning, it was found Capper had given it to his colleague so he could park there as he had his own private parking space.

Leona Page, prosecuting on behalf of the county council, said that 42,000 blue badges had been handed out in Norfolk to improve the quality of life of people and Capper should have been aware he could not let others use his one.

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The court heard nationally blue badge fraud cost £853m with more than 400,000 cases of misuse a year.

Mrs Page said: "Misuse of a blue badge is not a victimless crime."

She added it was "disappointing" Capper misused his badge and he thought it was a "grey area".

Mrs Page also told the court Guymer was "unclear" on the use of blue badges.

Capper, of East Ruston and who did not appear in court, and had sent in no plea to the court, was convicted of the unlawful use of a disabled person's badge in relation to the parking of a vehicle.

He was fined £660 and ordered to pay £447.31 in prosecution costs and a £66 victim surcharge -  a total of £1,173.31.

Guymer, of Strumpshaw Road, Brundall, pleaded guilty by post to the court to the same offence.

He was fined £449 and ordered to pay £447.31 in prosecution costs and a £45 victim surcharge - a total of £941.31.

Chairman of the bench Nicholas Clarke said: "We acknowledge there are 42,000 blue badges in use and the bench feels the incorrect use of a blue badge in not acceptable."