Sexual assault survivor calls for blue badge changes as Wakefield Council refuses her application
The woman, who is in her 60s but cannot be named, was the target of a horrific broad daylight attack in 2020, for which her predatory attacker was jailed for 12 years.
Having been forced to rebuild her life, she still suffers from severe panic attacks, fears venturing out in public, and says she often wishes she were dead during her ordeal.
She says her application to council for a blue badge – which would allow her to park in no-parking areas such as on double yellow lines – has now been rejected as she does not meet the criteria.
She said: “I was advised by the blue badge team to go and get assessed by a physiotherapist for my walk and they are totally unaware of the mental health issue I am having.
“I feel like I’m being discriminated against because they don’t see my problems. I feel like I liked being killed during the attack because life is so hard after an attack like this. like and I just need help.
“Due to the physical and sexual assault I am afraid to be outside and currently only go out to the supermarket and for medical appointments as I don’t like being out of the safety of my house or my car.
“I feel like I could upgrade to other shops or hairdressers if I could park closer to the place so I don’t have to be outside.
“I know there are other people who are suffering in the same way as I am following an attack where they can’t get out for fear of being outside, but Wakefield council don’t seem to consider to how much it affected me and others.
“I think it’s discrimination and I don’t deserve any help. I work from home and support myself and I’m not asking for benefits and all I want is a little money. helps, but I feel like I’m just being ignored.”
She has since contacted MP John Trickett about her situation.
Meanwhile, Antony Sadler, Wakefield Council’s director of services for communities, said: ‘We are sorry for any distress this may have caused.
“We must follow Department for Transport (DfT) guidance when assessing an application and must be able to show how an applicant meets the criteria.”
The council has since sent her a letter saying she does not meet the criteria for a blue badge.
The woman had been out for an early morning walk in June 2020 when she was targeted by Thomas Joshua Bird.
Bird, who is from Knottingley, was jailed last year after police painstakingly pieced together public and private CCTV footage that put him at the scene of the crime.
He had already followed a woman that morning but was upset when she stopped to talk with fishermen.
Bird denied the charges but was found guilty after a trial. An appeal against his conviction was dismissed in November last year.