Man who misused wife’s blue badge gets suspended prison sentence

Kirklees Magistrated Court in Huddersfield. (D525A439)
Kirklees Magistrated Court in Huddersfield. (D525A439)

A Liversedge man has been given a suspended prison sentence after he unlawfully used a blue badge.

Roland Ferenci, 69, pleaded guilty at Kirklees Magistrates Court on Thursday to having possession of a disabled blue badge used fraudulently between October, 12 2015 and July 27, 2016.

The case came about after Ferenci was witnessed using his wife’s badge on numerous occasions when she was not with him.

He was brought in for an interview under caution, where he was given full advice on the use of the badge. However he continued to misuse it.

Ferrenci was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months, as well as a rehabilitation requirement of 15 days activity, costs of £500 and a £115 victim surcharge.

Magistrates said that they had thought long and hard as to whether the case should be referred up to Crown Court, such was the seriousness of the offence.

Mr Ferenci was told he must keep to all appointments and comply with the court order. If he breaches any requirement of the order then he could expect to serve a custodial sentence for 26 weeks.

The Magistrates stated that they had given Mr Ferenci credit for pleading guilty, and that credit was in the not sending the matter up to the Crown Court for sentence. They were also mindful of his age and personal circumstances.

The blue badge scheme helps disabled people to park close to their destination, either as a passenger or driver.

Misusing it can lead to a £1,000 fine.

Coun Graham Turner, Cabinet Member for Resources said: “I am pleased with the outcome of this case, Mr Ferenci committed a very serious offence which costs Local Authorities all over England thousands of pounds.

“Kirklees is one of only a handful of Councils prosecuting under the Fraud Act for blue badge offences.

“This successful prosecution shows that we are committed to preserving the integrity of the Disabled Blue Badge Scheme and will take appropriate action against people who abuse and misuse the scheme.

“Those who misuse blue badges must be prosecuted to stop the system becoming discredited, which would have an adverse impact on those users who genuinely need help by having a blue badge.”