Bedford prison officer ordered to pay £1,000 for misusing his wife's blue badge

He displayed the badge in Adelaide Square despite his wife not being present

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 3:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 3:02 pm

A Bedford Prison officer has been prosecuted for misusing his wife’s blue badge.

James Cooper of Bevery Close, Oakley, has been ordered to pay back over £1,000 in fines, council costs and a victim surcharge.

Bedford Borough Council prosecuted him for two counts of blue badge misuse after a civil enforcement officer witnessed him parking in Adelaide Square with a blue badge on November 12 last year, despite his wife not being present.

The Bedford Prison officer misused his wife’s blue badge on two occasions

During the investigation that followed, it was found Mr Cooper had committed the same offence the previous day.

On both occasions, Mr Cooper had used the badge to park before going to work at HMP Bedford, which resulted in the space being unavailable to someone who needed it for a lengthy period.

When interviewed under caution by post, Mr Cooper admitted to both offences and attend Luton Magistrates' Court on Friday, June 25 where he pleaded guilty.

He was fined £534, ordered to pay £500 towards the council’s costs, as well as a £53 victim surcharge.

Councillor Michael Headley, portfolio holder for finance, said: “The blue badge scheme was set up to assist disabled people in getting to their destination and many people rely on it.

“In the interest of disabled residents, we will always take action against those we suspect of misusing a blue badge, which could result in a fine of up to £1,000 and a criminal conviction.”