A woman who used a blue badge to park in disabled bays fraudulently has been fined.

Shirley Spence, of Gearing Close, Tooting, was one of a number of motorists caught in a joint two-day operation last December involving Croydon Council and the police.

Over the course of the two days, eight permits, commonly known as blue badges, were confiscated from drivers who were not the named holders, and where the holders were not present.

Spence was the only one of the drivers to contest the charge, and on Friday was fined £250. Also levied against her were costs of £1,275 and victim surcharge of £15. She was ordered to pay at the rate of £20 per fortnight.

The cases of the remaining seven motorists, who admitted the charges, were dealt with at an earlier hearing.

Councillor Phil Thomas, cabinet member for environment and highways, commended the work of the council officers and police who mounted the operation and successfully prosecuted the cases.

He said: “Many motorists, including those who don’t hold blue badges, have said how glad they are that we’re cracking down on the high levels of misuse, and bringing offenders to book.

“The most important element of this offence is the fact that, by abusing the system, they’re probably putting somebody who has a disability to a degree of difficulty and inconvenience they shouldn’t have to face.

“And a less import side effect is the loss of parking revenue to the council. These people are using the blue badge to park free of charge, sometimes for hours at a time, and if they’re in a bay, they’re preventing other motorists legitimately parking in that space.

“This is an antisocial offence that we’re determined to stamp out in our borough. This series of prosecutions sends out the message that if somebody’s thinking about fraudulently misusing a blue badge, they’d better think twice about doing so in Croydon.”