Man who struck clampers with car gets �2,000 fine

An Ottery man has been found guilty of assaulting two clampers with his car before being tasered by police.

Richard West, 45, was ordered to pay a total of �1,915 by magistrates after being convicted in his absence when he left the court at the start of the second day of his trial.

The charges related to an incident on Tip Hill in the town last summer when two employees from a company authorised to deal with unlicensed vehicles tried to remove his untaxed Volkswagen Polo.

In driving his car away from their truck he struck the two men, and when police arrived and tried to arrest him, he resisted them until a taser had to be used by an officer to bring him into custody.

West, who represented himself, was convicted of two counts of assault and one of resisting arrest at Central Devon magistrates last Friday.

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At the start of the session he chose to absent himself from court after an argument over where he should sit, as he wanted to sit in the place allocated for the defence solicitor, bur was ordered by the magistrates to sit in the defendant’s chair.

He refused and said he would take no further part in the proceedings.

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The court continued in his absence, and prosecutor Sonia Croft called on two police officers as witnesses.

PC James Davies was the first officer called to the scene on July 5, and said after the two clampers, Stephen Salisbury and Graeme Paget, made the allegations West hit them with his car, tried to arrest the defendant.

But he became resistant, and after struggling with the 45-year-old, the constable’s colleague Sergeant Richard Poole arrived, and deployed his taser to subdue West.

As the defendant had left he could not be questioned in court, so a statement he gave while in custody for the incident was read out, where he claimed the clampers had jumped intentionally into the path of his vehicle as he tried to drive away, and that he did not actually touch either man.

But magistrates disagreed, and found him guilty of assaulting both Mr Paget and Mr Salisbury, fining him �350 for each offence, but chose not to award compensation as the men admitted they had sustained no injury.

He was also fined �350 for resisting arrest, and ordered to pay �850 in prosecution costs with a victim surcharge of �15.

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