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article imageScottish man to go to court for wiping nose behind the wheel

By Chris Dade     Jan 28, 2010 in Crime
A 39-year-old man from Southern Scotland looks set to go to court after refusing to pay a fine given to him by the police when they saw him wiping his nose with a tissue while sitting in stationary traffic.
The incident that is set to land father-of-two Michael Mancini in court occurred on October 26 last year in the High Street in Ayr, a town of some 46,000 people in the South of Scotland, 32 miles Southwest of the country's largest city Glasgow.
Metro.co.uk quotes Mr Mancini as saying of the circumstances surrounding the incident and the police's reaction to seeing him wipe his nose while behind the wheel of his car:The traffic was nose to tail in the high street and the traffic stopped and I thought that was quite a good time. 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. He said I was not in control of the vehicle. I was absolutely stunned. 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
According to the Press Association, when speaking to the Daily Record, Mr Mancini also explained:I'm really angry. I made sure it was safe to blow my nose
Such is Mr Mancini's anger over the incident that he has refused to pay the £60 ($96) fixed penalty that he received in addition to three points on his license.
On January 18 Mr Mancini's solicitor Peter Lockhart wrote to the authorities - Sky News states that Mr Lockhart argued in his letter that no offense occurred because his client had his vehicle's handbrake on - suggesting that even if the fine remains unpaid it is not in the "public interest" for the case to go to court.
But the following day a letter arrived informing Mr Lockhart that Mr Mancini would indeed be taken to court if the fine is not paid in due course.
The only comment on the matter from the authorities appears to be that made by a Strathclyde Police spokesman who simply said:A 39-year-old man is the subject of a report to the procurator fiscal in connection with an alleged traffic offence on October 26
Support for Mr Mancini has come from The Automobile Association (AA), the association's President Edmund King noting:It is difficult to know the details of an individual case, but we have never ever heard of a driver being fined for blowing his nose at the wheel before. Indeed one could argue it is safer to blow your nose rather than suffer the consequences of not doing so
A court date has not yet been set but when Mr Mancini does find himself in court he intends to plead not guilty to the charge laid against him.
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