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Teen’s offensive message leads to £575 hit in pocket

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: November 07, 2012

By Jenny Moody

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A UTTOXETER teenager caught with offensive writing in black tape on the front of his car has been found guilty by magistrates.

Martin Wood, of Park Avenue, denied displaying writing which was threatening, abusive or insulting on the front of his white Citroen Saxo on August 13 saying he had not seen it.

Dave Bell, prosecuting, told Burton Magistrates’ Court that the Saxo was seen by PCSO Amanda Hales in Park Street while she was out on cycle patrol at 4.45pm to have ‘**** the police’ in black lettering on his car.

The 19-year-old waved at the officer as he knew her and she tried to speak to the driver but was unable to.

He was then spotted by PC Hutton at 6pm in the car park of B&Q after being directed to the vehicle by a member of the public who described it as ‘absolutely disgusting’.

The officer said: “I approached the vehicle from the side and as I got closer I noticed ‘**** the police’ in black tape on the bonnet.”

The car was unattended at the time but the officer took photographs of the bonnet and later saw two males get out of a bright green Peugeot next to the Saxo but they had left the area before they were approached.

Wood was later stopped in Wood Lane by PC Hollis. When questioned Wood denied any knowledge of the writing on his car but did not deny it was there.

Wood, defending himself, told the court he left work at Pym and Wildsmith, on Bramshall Industrial Estate, at 4.30pm and saw PCSO Hales. He then went to B&M Bargains to pick up a battery and left the car for two to three hours before returning.

He said he did not notice the writing on his car as he had been emptying it from the back all day.

Wood said: “If I knew it was there I would have pulled it straight off as I would obviously get pulled over for that.”

Mr Bell asked the defendant, who is currently unemployed, what he thought about the message, Wood replied: “It is quite offensive, if I was a police officer I wouldn’t like it.”

The prosecutor questioned how he could possibly not have seen it, as it would have taken a long time for someone else to cut the bits of tape to make the lettering.

Wood replied: “The tape left marks on my car and it took all day to get it off. I wouldn’t put it on myself as I know it would leave marks on my car.

“It took three hours to get the glue off. I am quite short with the seat laid back a bit so I cannot really see the bonnet at all.”

Mr Bell said: “I suggest you were having a laugh at the police’s expense.” Wood replied: “I do not go around looking for trouble. I pay enough on the insurance without having fines.”

Magistrates found Wood guilty of displaying the writing, stating it was inconceivable that he was unaware of it.

Wood was fined £110 with £450 court costs and £15 victim surcharge.

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