[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC News in video and audio
Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 October 2007, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
Driver fined for smoking in lorry
Leonard King - picture; dailypost.co.uk
Leonard King had lit up during a break on Colwyn Bay promenade
A lorry driver has been prosecuted for smoking in his cab parked on a seaside promenade.

Leonard King, 55, of Kinmel Bay, Conwy, faces fines and costs of 260 from Llandudno magistrates for smoking illegally in his workplace.

He pleaded guilty by letter but said his prosecution was "over the top".

A dog warden spotted King smoking and flicking the stub out of the lorry's window. He also received a fine for depositing litter with the stub.

Magistrates were told that the council warden took the number of the lorry, on Colwyn Bay promenade, and it was traced to a carrier firm, who confirmed their vehicles had no-smoking notices.

A solicitor for Conwy council said King was offered a fixed penalty for smoking illegally in his cab and another for 75 for depositing litter with the stub.

I'm sure they can find better things to do with their time
Leonard King, smoker

He has paid the litter fine but has not paid the one for smoking.

King did not attend the hearing but wrote pleading guilty. He offered no mitigation.

He was fined 75 and must also pay 30 investigative costs and 65 legal costs.

The lorry driver must also pay a 15 victim's surcharge, which is a flat-rate levy paid into a fund to improve services for victims of crime.

Along with the 75 fine he had already paid, this means a total bill of 260.

Speaking after the hearing King criticised the council for taking him to court.

"I'm sure they can find better things to do with their time," he said.

"Dog fouling is a more annoying offence than discarding one little cigarette butt which will get blown away in the wind.

"I was alone in the cab, not harming anyone else and stationary at the time."

King, who smokes 20 roll-ups a day, added the smoking ban was interfering with people's civil liberties.

A spokeswoman for Conwy council said their three dog wardens were enforcement officers and dealing with smoking offences was part of their remit.

Neil Rafferty, spokesman for pressure group Forest said: "The ban on drivers' smoking is the most ludicrous aspect of the law and this case shows how ridiculous it is."

Cigarette sales 'slump after ban'
02 Oct 07 |  Business
Ban 'boost for non-smoking staff'
01 Oct 07 |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific