Pensioners caught unlawfully using disabled blue badge

Anne Ives, 79, from Swaffham, and Ramon Lawrence, 84, from Wymondham, were fined for misusing a disa

Anne Ives, 79, from Swaffham, and Ramon Lawrence, 84, from Wymondham, were fined for misusing a disabled person's blue badge. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Two pensioners have been fined for unlawfully using a disabled blue badge to park in Norfolk.

Anne Ives, 79, of Amherst Close, Swaffham, and Ramon Lawrence, 84, of Jekyll Road, Wymondham, pleaded guilty at Norwich Magistrates' Court to unlawfully using a disabled person's badge.

Prosecutor Leona Page Ives used her husband's blue badge on May 29 last year to park at a disabled parking spot in Market Place in Swaffham.

She told an enforcement officer that her husband was at the dentist and that she was picking up his prescription, the court heard.

Ms Page - for Norfolk County Council, which brought the prosecutions - said her husband, who suffers from dementia, was actually at a care home.

In a written statement to magistrates, Ives apologised and said she was experiencing stress from her husband being taken to a care home.

She said they have been married for 59 years but he had to be taken into full-time care in February last year for his and her safety.

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Ms Page said Lawrence had misused his wife's blue badge when he parked at a taxi rank in Cromer and later at a disabled bay in West Street on July 6, 2019.

When an enforcement officer asked Lawrence whether the blue badge holder was with him he said she was at the butcher's.

But when the officer asked to walk to the butcher's with Lawrence to locate her, he said "don't bother".

In a letter to the court, Lawrence's daughter-in-law Joanne Lawrence said he usually shopped with his wife, who is also 84, but a recent eye operation had left her virtually blind.

She said he was extremely sorry for misusing the badge.

Neither Ives nor Lawrence attended the hearing on Tuesday.

Ms Page told magistrates the cost of investigating the cases and bringing them to court was £487 and £580 respectively.

She asked for Ives and Lawrence to pay the costs and stated the offences could only be dealt with by way of a fine of up to £1,000.

But chairman of the bench Nick Smith made no order for costs due to their low income and fined both £50 each.

As well as the fines, Ives and Lawrence were ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £20 and £32 respectively.