Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Thursday, 28 January 2010

Driver fined 'for blowing his nose'

Michael Mancini: "Here I was getting a ticket for something that was just ridiculous"

An Ayrshire businessman says he has been fined by the police for blowing his nose while driving.

Michael Mancini, from Prestwick, said he was sitting in stationary traffic with the handbrake on when he used a tissue to clean his nose.

He claimed he was waved over by four police officers and given a fixed penalty for not being in proper control of his car.

He has refused to pay the £60 fine and the case may now proceed to court.

The 39-year-old, who runs a furniture restoration business in Ayr, said: "The traffic was nose to tail in the high street and the traffic stopped and I thought that was quite a good time (to blow his nose).

"I stopped the van and put the handbrake on. I saw four police officers nearby. The traffic moved on and I was waved across by an officer.

It should have been obvious to the officers what was going on and it beggars belief a ticket was issued
Peter Lockhart
Mr Mancini's solicitor

"He said I was not in control of the vehicle."

Mr Mancini said he was "absolutely stunned" by the police action.

He added: "I said to the officer 'You're joking, you're having a laugh'.

"I've never been in trouble with the police. I was just completely gobsmacked. I honestly thought someone was going to run out with a camera."

Mr Mancini was fined on 26 October at the High Street in Ayr but has not paid the penalty.

His solicitor, Peter Lockhart, said he had written to the procurator fiscal on 18 January but a letter arrived the following day stating that if the fine was not paid the case would go to court.

Public interest

Mr Lockhart said: "In the letter I said - 'It should have been obvious to the officers what was going on and it beggars belief a ticket was issued'.

"I also wrote - 'We cannot see, given the circumstances of this case, that it is in the public interest'."

Mr Lockhart said he was waiting to hear if a court date has been set.

"We will be pleading on his (Mr Mancini's) behalf not guilty," he added.

A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said: "A 39-year-old man is the subject of a report to the procurator fiscal in connection with an alleged traffic offence."

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