Roehampton Woman Narrowly Escapes Jail Sentence

Having lied over 'blue badge' abuse


Anyone with information about blue badge misuse can contact the council's team of investigators by calling freephone number 0800 085 0866 or emailing

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A middle-aged woman from Roehampton has narrowly avoided a jail sentence after concocting a tissue of lies to try and cover up her fraudulent use of a disabled person’s parking permit.

Cheryl Daley of Egbury House in Tangley Grove was caught red-handed in a joint operation by town hall fraud investigators and police officers from the Met’s safer transport command using a forged copy of a blue badge while shopping in Tooting.

The investigators spotted her parking her blue VW in a disabled parking bay and then walking without any difficulty to nearby shops.

When she was interviewed under caution the 45-year-old housing association employee claimed that she’d found the permit lying on a pavement in Southfields earlier that day and had intended to hand it in at the first opportunity.

She insisted that her decision to use it on the shopping trip was due to “a moment of madness”. But her story fell apart when the investigators began looking into her claims. They established that the badge she was using was a fraudulent copy of one previously issued to her next-door-neighbour which was reported stolen in 2006. Its original expiry date was July 2008 but the one Miss Daley was using had been altered to July 2010. Further evidence was uncovered that proved she had been using either the original or a copy of that stolen badge in her car back in 2008. On that occasion it was showing the genuine expiry date.

When she appeared before magistrates Miss Daley pleaded guilty to one offence of fraud by false representation and a second offence of possessing an item for use in connection with fraud. She told the court that she had never had the original stolen badge but had found a copy of it outside her flat in 2008. She admitted using the copy since 2008 and later altering it so she could carry on using it after its expiry date.

She was sentenced to 80 hours unpaid community service as a direct alternative to custody and ordered to pay £100 towards the council’s prosecution costs.

The council’s transport spokesman Ravi Govindia said the case highlighted the “rampant levels of abuse” that surround the blue badge system. He said:
“We estimate that at any one time on any normal day of the year there could be as many as 500 blue badge cheats driving just on the streets of Wandsworth. The London-wide figure is likely to be many thousands. All of these drivers will be using badges that they are simply not entitled to use. In some cases it is because they have actually stolen a disabled person’s permit, whilst others will be using a forgery or a copy.

He continued:
" Unfortunately though in most cases we come across these drivers are using a genuine badge that belongs to a disabled relative. These people seem to prefer leaving loved ones trapped indoors all day just so they don’t have to catch the bus to work or can avoid putting a few coins in a parking meter while out shopping. In my view this is a form of abuse, so we make no apologies for bringing these lawbreakers to justice.”

Abuse of the system is rife because blue badge holders are able to park virtually anywhere they like. They can park for as long as they need free of charge in pay and display bays and also in resident and business permit spaces. They can also park for up to three hours on yellow lines as long as there are no other restrictions in force. The badges can however only be used when the holder is either driving the vehicle or being ferried as a passenger.

Since the council began targeting these drivers nearly 400 have been successfully prosecuted for a total of 1,461 offences As a result £500,000 has been returned to the public purse in court fines and costs. Among those who have landed up in court have been solicitors, bank managers, civil servants, dentists, bus drivers and even the owner of a care home for the elderly.

March 11, 2011