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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 19:10 GMT 20:10 UK
Man jailed for speed camera blast
Craig Moore
Moore blew up the camera which flashed at him last August
A man who blew up a speed camera because he feared he would lose his licence after he was snapped speeding has been jailed for four months.

Craig Moore, 28, of Grampian Way in Thorne, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, admitted damaging property last month.

He destroyed the camera using material from his welding job after he was caught in Hyde near Manchester.

Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court heard Moore's van was caught on the camera before it was attacked.

Moore's actions caused 11,700 of damage to the machine which had flashed at him while he was exceeding the speed limit on Mottram Road on 14 August last year.

Stills from the speed camera blown up by Moore
Moore used chemicals from his welding job to destroy the camera

Moore, who was a railway worker for Vital Rail, was in a work vehicle with a colleague.

He claimed he was afraid he would lose his job if he was caught speeding. He already had 10 points on his licence and thought he would receive a driving ban if more were added.

Later that night, he drove 40 miles back to the camera with a quantity of material to create a thermite reaction - a process which would melt the camera's metal body in an explosive fire.

Camera recording

A recording from the hard-drive of the camera showed the Ford Transit van approaching.

As the vehicle was driven off, sparks were seen coming from the camera box and then it exploded.

Police checked the tracker device fitted to the van, which showed it had arrived in Hyde, stopped on Mottram Road and then returned to the Doncaster area, where it was parked outside Moore's home address.

Pc Mark Akers, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "Instead of just accepting that he had been caught travelling above the speed limit, Moore decided to blow the camera apart.

"He obviously thought that by destroying the main camera he was destroying all the evidence. But a combination of hard work and the latest technology led to his conviction."

Andrew Bailey, defending, said Moore knew adding extra speeding points to the 10 points he already had on his driving licence would mean he would lose it, and with it, his livelihood.

Tagging scheme

However, the device was a Watchman camera which provides the local authority with traffic information.

The authority uses the information to write to offenders but does not carry out prosecutions.

In an email to BBC News, Cheryl, his partner of eight years and mother of his children, said he only did what he did because he feared losing his home and his job.

"Let the punishment fit the crime," she said. "Let's hope he benefits from the government tagging scheme and comes home on tagging after only doing a quarter or a fifth of his sentence like Prince Naseem.

"Craig never hurt anybody. He only stopped the government from making a bit more money on speeding fines - shame!"


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Craig Moore attacks the speed camera



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