Monday, May 19, 2008

10 Fines That Will Blow Your Mind | Weird Facts

weird facts
ITV was fined a record £5.7 million for misleading viewers over the conduct of phone-ins on its flagship programmes this week. But it is not just big companies that have to stump up cash in fine-happy Britain.

With an army of pettifogging bureaucrats policing your every move, you better think twice before you eat, talk, drive and even relax… the list is almost endless. Here we list ten ridiculous but true stories where the authorities have demonstrated their limited grasp of common sense…

1. Sausage rolls

A picnic in the park turned into an expensive event for Mum Sarah Davies, from Hull. While feeding her four-year-old daughter a piece of sausage roll fell to the ground. The missed-mouth incident was spotted by council wardens and Ms Davies was fined £75, even though pigeons immediately ate the evidence.

2. What a load of rubbish

With photographic evidence and stab-proof vests, Cumbria council’s bin police confronted Gareth Corkhill with the terrible crime of … putting too much rubbish in his bin. The father of four was given a whopping £210 fine, plus a £15 victim surcharge and he now has a criminal record.

3. Oops…

Litter lout Christopher Murphy dropped a single crisp packet on Irish soil and ended up in court with a 600 Euro (£480) fine. While the term litterbug is no doubt a bona fide insult, this is an example of where the fine perhaps doesn’t match the crime.

4. Trying to be creative

Pretty hearts and rainbows may seem innocent enough, except if you work for north Wales police. Two teenage girls from Bangor were charged £80 for “graffiti” after drawing chalk pictures on a pavement, Mary Poppins style, which were completely washed away by the rain soon after.

5. Keeping the kitchen tidy

Nowadays using a public bin can get you into trouble. Detectives hunted down pensioner John Richards from Lincolnshire after he carefully placed some household rubbish into a bin on a lamp post. They traced Mr Richards from an addressed envelope that was in with the kitchen scraps and accused him of fly-tipping, which attracts a fixed penalty of £75.

6. Putting your feet up

Getting comfy on a Chester-bound train can get you a criminal record. Babiker Fadol put his feet on a train seat and was arrested for anti-social behaviour, despite taking his feet down as soon as he was asked. After appearing at court charged under the 1889 Railway Regulations Act, he was forced to pay £50 and was given a criminal record.

7. Keen to help the environment?

You still won’t escape the wrath of Swansea’s eagle-eyed council officials. Michael Reeves made a grave mistake when he accidently left a piece of paper in a recycling bag reserved for glass. He was promptly taken to court and fined £200 and swears he’ll never recycle again.

8. A quick fag

Fancy a quick ciggie in your break? Think again if you’re in the taxi trade. A lone fag cost cab driver Alan Cross £715. Mr Cross was spotted smoking a cigarette in his taxi by a Thurrock Council Enforcement Officer. The matter went to court and he was slapped with £300 of fines, £400 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

9. Defrosting the car on a winter morning

One cold winter morning Ken Hardman from Lancashire nipped outside to his car, turned the engine on to defrost the windscreen and then returned inside to wait. A local police officer charged him with “quitting” (leaving a car unattended with the engine on) and fined him £30.

10. Answering a phone call safely

Unlucky Nick Tubbs was fined £120 for the crime of … speaking to his mum on the phone. He was driving in Westminster when his mother rang so he diligently pulled over to the side of the road to take the call. He spoke for one minute and 23 seconds then immediately drove away. Sadly for Mr Tubbs, Westminster council tracked him down from CCTV footage and accused him of “parking” on a single yellow line.

[Via - 10SitesToSee.Com]