A woman found guilty of fraudulently misusing a disability parking permit has seen her appeal against the conviction turned down.

Shirley Spence, of Gearing Close, Tooting, was one of a number of motorists caught in a joint two-day operation in December, 2009, involving Croydon Council and the police.

Over the course of the two days, eight blue badges were confiscated from drivers who were using them without the holder being present.

Spence was the only driver to contest the charge, and was fined £250 by Croydon magistrates in December, 2010.

She was ordered to pay costs of £1,275 and victim surcharge of £15, at the rate of £20 per fortnight.

Her appeal was rejected by Croydon Crown Court on Friday, May 20.

Spence’s fine was reduced to £100, but she was ordered to pay an extra £500 in costs, on top of the costs and victim surcharge previously levied by Croydon Magistrates’ Court.

Councillor Phil Thomas, cabinet member for environment and highways, said: “The failure of this appeal shows Croydon Council’s stated policy of cracking down on blue-badge fraud is the right way to go.

“Many motorists, including those who don’t hold blue badges, have applauded us for demonstrably tackling the high levels of misuse, and bringing offenders to book.

“This offence shows blatant disrespect for legitimate blue-badge holders, disadvantaged people who need the permit in order to conduct their day-to-day lives.

“Abusers of the system 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.”