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Woman, 48 used dead father's blue badge; Shame of daughter who used disability disc to evade parking fees.

Byline: JOANNE BUTCHER

A DAUGHTER who used her dead dad's blue badge to dodge parking charges has been given a community order.

Council chiefs prosecuted Lisa Ravenscroft after discovering she had used her dad's disabled parking disc less than two years after he died of lung cancer. But lawyers for the 48-year-old, of Drummond Road, Kenton, Newcastle, claimed she was being "made an example of".

Ravenscroft was spotted by parking officers leaving her car in the city's Quayside area in May last year with a blue badge displayed.

Suspicious, the officers checked the badge and found it had been allocated to a man in his 80s.

They then scoured the records and discovered the badge belonged to Ravenscroft's dad, who died two years ago of lung cancer.

A few days later, they again spotted the car on Akenside Hill and challenged Ravenscroft.

She said the badge belonged to her father but initially told officers her dad was at home, before admitting he had passed away.

Gregg Butcher, prosecuting, told Newcastle Magistrates' Court: "Unprovoked, she said the badge belonged to her father. She said he was at home.

"The officer put it to her that her father was dead and she accepted he was. She said: 'I have horrendous debts, I've lost my parents to cancer and lost my job.' "She accepted what she was doing was wrong."

Ravenscroft admitted one count of fraud by false representation at an earlier hearing and was back in court yesterday for sentencing.

Geoff Taylor, defending, said Ravenscroft's world had fallen apart as a result of the prosecution.

"She has been put before the public and she has been humiliated and made very very ill. She is not a lady who has taken proceedings lightly, she is devastated.

She is in essence being made an example of.

"She is at great risk of losing her employment. Tomorrow there will be a disciplinary hearing. She is effectively a ruined woman for what is in reality at the low end of the scale."

But District Judge Stephen Earl said the offence brought public confidence in the blue badge scheme into question.

"You are an articulate and intelligent woman who knew what she was doing," he told Ravenscroft.

"I can't accept that this is just a minor matter."

He sentenced her to a 12 month community order, with 80 hours of unpaid work. He also ordered her to pay pounds 85 towards the costs of bringing the case to court.

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RUINED Lisa Ravenscroft who used her dead dad's blue badge to evade parking charges.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 10, 2012
Words:428
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