Gravesend resident prosecuted for using a stolen Blue Badge

Blue Badge sign

On Friday 18th of August 2023, at Sevenoaks Magistrates Court, Michael Okuomose (25) of Wye Road, Gravesend pleaded guilty to fraud and handling stolen goods by misusing a stolen Disabled Person’s Parking Permit, also known as a Blue Badge.

On the 4th of May 2022, at Railway Place, Gravesend, Mr Okuomose had parked his vehicle and displayed the Blue Badge. The badge had been reported as stolen to the issuing authority, London Borough of Lambeth in January 2021. When questioned by the Civil Enforcement Officer as to the validity of the badge, Mr Okuomose stated it was his mothers and drove off.

Kent County Council (KCC), who are the issuing, and enforcement, authority for Blue Badges in Kent, had been informed, by the Civil Enforcement Officer, about the misuse of the badge and subsequent interaction with the driver.

Following enquires made by KCC’s Counter Fraud Team, Mr Okuomose was invited to attend several interviews under caution, he failed to attend.

Mr Okuomose was given a two-year conditional discharge, ordered to pay a £25 victim surcharge and £1,963 in costs. The Magistrates’ said that Mr Okuomose’s action in ignoring the investigation had made matters worse and it was unfortunate he was before them as he had no previous convictions.

Councillor Dan Watkins

Our partnership working with district councils continues to be highly effective in stopping Blue Badge abuse...

Dan Watkins Dan Watkins, KCC Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

He continued: " Not only does this appalling abuse cause a financial loss to district councils and therefore the taxpayer, but there is also significant reputational damage to the Blue Badge scheme – a scheme put in place to help and support disabled people”.