TWO County Durham motorists have been fined almost £1,000 after illegally displaying their partners’ Blue Badges to park in disabled bays.

Kim Donna Dracup and Aidan Brittan were both approached by Durham County Council parking services officers in Bishop Auckland last July.

Dracup, 57, of Newholme Crescent, Evenwood, had parked in a disabled bay on Victoria Street.

Magistrates in Newton Aycliffe heard that the officers had inspected the Blue Badge on display in her vehicle and found it belonged to her husband. Dracup claimed she had dropped her husband off in town and was now going to pick him up near Newgate Street. However, when the officers attempted to contact him to confirm this, Dracup admitted he was actually at home.

Dracup said she had parked in the disabled bay while buying some items for her husband in town. She acknowledged she should not have done so without him being present and apologised.

Dracup pleaded guilty by post to misusing a disabled person’s concession badge and was fined £200. She was also ordered to pay costs of £302.73 and a £32 victim surcharge.

The parking services officers approached Brittan, of Hereford Street, Leeholme, near Bishop Auckland, after spotting him returning to a vehicle parked in a disabled bay in the town’s Market Place.

The Blue Badge displayed in the 70-year-old’s vehicle belonged to his wife, who he claimed he was going to pick up from the hairdressers. But when the officers contacted her by telephone, it was confirmed that Brittan’s wife was at home and had not left the house that morning.

Brittan admitted he had gone to buy some milk and he should not have displayed the Blue Badge without his wife being present. He pleaded guilty to the offence by post and apologised.

Magistrates fined Brittan £80 and ordered him to pay costs of £287.95 and a £32 victim surcharge.

Paul Bradley, chief internal auditor and corporate fraud manager at Durham County Council, said: “Accessible parking bays are vital to people with disabilities who rely on them to visit local shops and amenities.

“If people misuse these bays, they reduce the availability for those who genuinely need them.

“These successful prosecutions send a clear message that we will not tolerate Blue Badge misuse in County Durham.

“In both cases, there were non-disabled car parking spaces within 50 metres.

“We would urge members of the public to get in touch if they’re aware of anyone misusing a Blue Badge and help us to tackle this issue.”

To report Blue Badge misuse, contact 03000 269 425 or visit