A woman has pleaded guilty to misusing a blue badge in Borehamwood town centre.

Last June, Rachel Carmelli of Brownlow Road, Borehamwood, parked in a loading bay area in Shenley Road whilst displaying the blue badge she had been allocated to use, when accompanied by her son because of his disability.

Hertsmere Borough Council’s civil enforcement officers noticed Carmelli’s car parked in the loading bay area and began to write a ticket for the contravention.

The council said the officers were then approached by Carmelli informing them that she should not be given a ticket as she was displaying a disabled blue badge.

The council said Carmelli went on to make false statements about the whereabouts of her son. Subsequently, the blue badge was seized on the roadside for wrongful misuse of the badge as her son was not present at the time.

The matter was referred to the shared anti-fraud service (SAFS) to conduct an investigation into wrongful use of a disabled badge.

During the investigation, Carmelli made a further explanation to SAFS about the whereabouts of her son.

The council said SAFS disproved all claims that Carmelli made and were able to prove that Carmelli’s son was not present in Shenley Road during the time in question.

On February 17 at St Albans Magistrates Court, Carmelli pleaded guilty to wrongful use of a disabled badge.

At court, the council said she admitted to fabricating stories in order to conceal that her son was not present whilst she used the blue badge.

She was sentenced to pay costs totalling 344, including a £100 fine, £150 compensation, £60 legal costs, and a £34 surcharge.

Following the court's decision, Cllr Jean Heywood, portfolio holder for transport, said: "Blue badges are allocated to support those with disabilities and everyone has a responsibility to make sure they are used appropriately.

"This case shows that we will forward any alleged cases of misuse or fraud through to SAFS to investigate and look to prosecute where there is evidence to do so."