Motorist used dead man's blue badge to park in disabled bay
A motorist who illegally used a dead man's blue badge to park in a disabled bay has escaped a court fine.
The badge in Anthony Reay's vehicle was also set to an arrival nearly time nearly two hours later than when it was checked by a council parking officer.
He initially claimed the badge was his until the officer requested to see the photograph.
Reay, 57, of North View, Bearpark, Durham City, then said he was waiting for the badge holder before driving off alone in August 2017.
Durham County Council investigations later revealed that the badge belonged to a man who had passed away five months earlier.
Reay admitted he should not have been using the badge and said he was in a hurry that day and unable to find a parking space.
So he went into the glove box and displayed the badge.
The defendant submitted an early guilty plea to illegally parking in a disabled bay and attended court this week to apologise for his actions.
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He told Newton Aycliffe magistrates he understood that using the space meant someone else might not be able to use it.
The court took into consideration Reay's early guilty plea and, on the basis of his lack of income, imposed a conditional discharge of three months and a contribution towards the costs of £100.
The case was one of four Durham County Council prosecutions against blue badge abusers on the same day.
They also included Mohammed Tameme, 55, of William Place in Gilesgate, Durham City, who admitted using his son's blue badge to park illegally in North Road, in the city centre, on July 17 last year.
He was fined £300, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £30 and a further £426.58 in costs.
Dave Wafer, our strategic traffic manager, said: "When somebody misuses a blue badge to park in a disabled bay it means that the much valued parking bay is unavailable to those who genuinely need to have access to facilities and services.
"These four prosecutions show that we are committed to tackling those who abuse blue badges across County Durham."