Care worker fined over blue badge fraud

Blue badges EMN-150823-145718001
Blue badges EMN-150823-145718001

A care worker has been convicted for fraudulently using a blue badge to park in disabled bays.

Lata Kumar, 48, was fined £860 at Bedford Magistrate’s Court after pleading guilty to charges relating to using an expired blue badge which had been altered.

The fraud took place when Bedford resident Kumar worked as a care worker for CareTech. Her colleague, care home deputy manager Lisa Burnapp, was convicted and was fined by the court, in September, for her part in the scam.

At Kumar’s hearing, on Wednesday, October 28, magistrates heard a colleague of Burnapp was seen by a Civil Enforcement Officer displaying a blue badge on January 16, 2015. The officer noticed the expiry date had been altered from November 1, 2013, to November 1, 2015, seized the badge and handed to Bedford Borough Council for examination.

After the borough’s fraud team investigated, Kumar was formally interviewed twice by fraud officers. During the first interview, she provided a false account of her actions that were subsequently disproved by the council.

During a second interviewed, when Kumar was shown video footage recorded by the civil enforcement officer, she admitted to displaying the expired Blue Badge and to parking in designated disabled bay.

The court ordered Kumar to pay a fine of £400, prosecution costs of £420 and a victim surcharge of £40.