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calendar   Monday - August 03, 2009

Tanker driver dragged to court for smoking - even though it was a fake cigarette.

Perhaps an understandable mistake made by the council spy but heck ... all she had to do is approach the man as he suggestes here, and all could have been cleared.  But no.  This is after all England where, as my Brit wife reminds me, if there is a logical and easy way to do things, Brits will look for the hard way instead.

bat

See the link for the photos, especially the fake ciggies.  When I quite over 20 years ago, I had to do it the hard way. Cold turkey. But I did it.
I have been informed btw, that even in the states there are stupid idiot laws that are enforceable, that says a person can not even smoke in their own freeken car once they enter the parking space where they work.  OUTRAGEOUS!  Tempted to ask what the world is coming to but fear greatly I already know the answer.
C’mon. Can’t smoke in your own car?  How bad do things have to get before ppl start saying enough, and revolting against the dictatorship of the politically correct?

bat

Tanker driver dragged to court for smoking - even though it was a fake cigarette
By Andy Dolan

When new laws made it illegal to smoke in a company vehicle, tanker driver Chris Minihan accepted that his days of puffing away at the wheel were over.
In the two years since then he has been trying hard to kick the habit - and even invested in a fake electronic cigarette to help him.

But today the father of one will be in court to fight possible fines of up to £2,700 for smoking in a public place and dropping ash.
He claims a council enforcement officer mistook the fake cigarette for a real one when she spotted Mr Minihan during his rest-break at a picnic area.
Mr Minihan, 52, was initially issued with fixed penalty notices for £125 but elected to go to court and try to persuade magistrates he was ‘smoking’ his £38 Gamucci microelectronic cigarette.

The device contains a tiny rechargeable battery and an atomising chamber. Users plug a liquid nicotine cartridge into the chamber and their sucking on the ‘cigarette’ causes it to heat up, turning the liquid into vapour which looks like smoke.

The ‘cigarette’ lets users satisfy their nicotine craving without carcinogens or tar and without the problems of second-hand smoke associated with cigarettes.
It is exempt from the anti-smoking legislation.
Users can slowly reduce the strength of the nicotine cartridges until they have kicked the habit.

Mr Minihan, of Anfield, Liverpool, said: ‘I have been trying to quit for years, but after they made it illegal to smoke in the cab, I decided to quit for good.
‘I had heard about these devices and decided to give them a try. They do look and feel exactly like a cigarette, so I can understand why the council enforcement officer could have been mistaken.’

The officer took three photographs of Mr Minihan’s tanker at the Wigg Island nature reserve in Runcorn, Cheshire, which is managed by Halton Borough Council.
He said: ‘If she had approached me on the day I could have shown her what I was doing and the whole thing could’ve been nipped in the bud then.
‘Instead, I only found out what she had done when an official arrived at the company yard two days later to issue me with the fixed penalty notices.’
Mr Minihan claims the ‘aggressive’ official refused to accept his explanation.

He was given a fixed penalty notice of £75 for littering, which could be reduced to £50 if paid within ten days, and a second of £50 for smoking in a public place.
The driver refused to accept the penalties and was summonsed to Runcorn Magistrates’ Court. If found guilty he could be fined up to £2,700 plus costs.
Mr Minihan, who has since been made redundant from Neston Tank Cleaners in Kirkby, Merseyside, bought the fake cigarette from the online store Prezzybox.com.

He will represent himself in court, but the firm has offered to pay any costs if he loses the case.
The Health Act 2006, which came into force in July 2007, made almost all enclosed public places and workplaces smoke free. It includes work vehicles and applies to staff, customers and visitors.

Halton Borough Council said last night: ‘We cannot comment while legal proceedings are ongoing.’
Last month, Cardiff taxi driver Goldeep Singh, 46, was fined £65 with £135 costs for smoking in his cab. Singh, of Llanishen, Cardiff, had refused to pay a fixed penalty notice.

THE MAIL


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/03/2009 at 10:37 AM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeJack Booted ThugsOppressionOutrageousUK •  
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