Croydon caretaker Derek Wicking in blue badge fraud
The caretaker of a school for disabled children was caught misusing the school’s blue badge parking permit.
Derek Wicking, 67, who works at Rutherford School, South Croydon, used the school’s blue badge to park the school minibus for free in parking bays outside his house in Ruskin Road, Croydon.
He said that he had not realised that the school’s blue badge was on display, but admitted unlawful use of a disabled person's badge at Croydon Magistrates Court last week.
Mr Wicking, who worked as caretaker at the school for more than 19 years, was given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £1,000 costs.
The Croydon Guardian visited Mr Wicking but he declined to comment on the case.
Mr Wicking has not lost his job over the incident.
Director of Services of the Garwood Foundation, the organisation running the school, Keith Minear said: "As far as we are concerned it is not something we are happy about that there has been a conviction involving the use of a Garwood Foundation blue badge.
"We are an organisation which for 60 years has worked to support disabled people in Croydon and it is an embarrassment that one of our vehicles has been incorrectly used."
He added: "We have been working with Croydon Council to make sure this isn’t repeated again.
"It is something we are not happy about and we are making sure that all our staff are fully trained and understand the limitations of the blue badge scheme and that vehicles and badges are used appropriately."
Councillor Phil Thomas, cabinet member for environment and highways, said: "Anybody caught using a parking permit for the disabled when they have no legitimate reason for doing so, will have to face the consequences in a court of law.
"Blue-badge fraud is a matter that we take very seriously and are determined to stamp out."