2015年4月24日星期五

Bedford man who said he couldn't walk 200 metres tells of hike in newspaper

  • Paul Gregory said he could only walk 200 metres in blue badge application
  • However, council staff noticed 51-year-old in newspaper report after hike
  • Article described Gregory as an 'experienced walker' on a three-day trek
  • Gregory fined £795 after admitting to dishonestly obtaining a blue badge

Paul Gregory, 51, of Bedford, has been fined £795 for having a blue badge, claiming he could only walk 200 metres, when in fact he was a keen walker

Paul Gregory, 51, of Bedford, has been fined £795 for having a blue badge, claiming he could only walk 200 metres, when in fact he was a keen walker

A disability badge holder who claimed he could only walk 200 metres ended up in court after council officials noticed a newspaper report recounting his exploits on a 191-mile hike.

When Paul Gregory, 51, applied to renew his blue badge, he claimed exercise left him breathless, despite being a keen walker and member of a mountaineering club.

He was exposed when Bedford Borough Council staff read an article in The Westmorland Gazette, describing how the 'experienced walker' had been attacked by cows in Cumbria on the third day of a hike in 2012.

The article, which featured a picture of him dressed in walking gear, told how he was knocked over by four cows in a field at the edge of Shap in Cumbria. 

The council also found he had spent a weekend walking in Wales days before making a blue badge application.

Gregory, of Bedford, pleaded guilty to two counts of dishonestly obtaining a blue badge by misrepresenting his physical abilities at Luton Magistrates' Court.

He was fined £795, ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and pay a £60 victim surcharge.

He was also subject to a one year supervision order and told to undergo 19 sessions of 'thinking skills'. 

A Bedford Borough Council spokesman said it was one of the 'most outrageous cases' of blue badge fraud it had investigated.

He said: 'He was taking part in national walking trips that many able-bodied adults would find difficult.

'Mr Gregory's abuse of the scheme is completely unacceptable and we will continue to investigate all reports of blue badge fraud thoroughly.'

Gregory was fined £795 and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work when he admitted dishonestly obtaining a blue badge by misrepresenting his physical abilities at Luton Magistrates' Court (pictured)

Gregory was fined £795 and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work when he admitted dishonestly obtaining a blue badge by misrepresenting his physical abilities at Luton Magistrates' Court (pictured)



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