An Anglican priest from Bexhill has been handed a community penalty after being caught fraudulently using a dead woman’s Blue Badge.
Father William Haymaker of Suffolk Road, was given a 12-month community order.
The 63 year old is required to carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work and was ordered to pay £3,700 in costs.
Haymaker appeared at a hearing at Hove Crown Court on Monday (September 11).
Judge Christine Henson told him:
“You used a disabled person’s Blue Badge that did not belong to you to commit fraud.
“You’ve been convicted of a serious offence and you must be punished for it.”
Haymaker, was caught in December 2015 parking his car in a disabled bay in the town.
The 63 year old was using a Blue Badge belonging to a woman who had died two months earlier.
The priest, provides pastoral support to the terminally ill and works with troubled children in Romania and Moldova.
Haymaker denied the offence but was unanimously found guilty of fraud by a jury at Chichester Crown Court in March.
Mark Jobling, East Sussex County Council Blue Badge investigation officer, said:
“As an ordained priest, Haymaker is someone in a position of considerable responsibility and trust, who ought to set a good example for others to follow.
“Instead, he shamelessly used a Blue Badge belonging to a woman who had died and then tried to talk his way out of trouble with a series of excuses the jury unanimously rejected.”
The county council’s Blue Badge investigation team say Haymaker claimed he had meant to use a badge belonging to someone, whom he claimed to have dropped off at a doctor’s surgery in Bexhill.
Haymaker also claimed he hadn’t realised he had parked in a disabled bay at all.
The jury took 45 minutes to find him guilty of possessing an article used in fraud.