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24 Apr 2015

"Disabled" badge holder did 191 mile hike

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, and 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'.

Source

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