Farmer fined after mud causes crash
Updated 9:58am Wednesday 23rd July 2014 in By Dominic Gilbert
A FARMER has been fined more than £1,000 after being found guilty of causing a collision on the A420 by dumping mud in the road.
During the morning rush hour on October 16 last year, a motorcyclist lost control of his vehicle after skidding on mud between Old Vicarage Road and Gablecross Police Station.
He had to be taken to hospital for treatment after suffering minor injuries but, after emergency services were called to the scene, police deemed the road unsafe and shut it to passing traffic during the rush hour.
The famer, of Joseph Enterprises, was forced to clear the road with the assistance of Swindon Council.
The company later denied depositing mud on a highway without lawful authority or excuse in consequence of which a user of the highway was injured or endangered.
During a hearing at North Wiltshire Magistrates Court on Monday, the company was found guilty and ordered to pay a total of £1,170 in fines and costs.
A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Shortly after 8am on October 16 2013, a motorcyclist lost control of his bike after hitting mud which had been left along the A420 between Old Vicarage Road and Gablecross Police Station, Swindon.
“He sustained minor injuries which required hospital treatment.
“Police deemed the road so dangerous it was closed and the farmer responsible was located.
“Swindon Council and the farmer were tasked with clearing the road. This led to the road being closed from 8.40am until 11.16am causing substantial traffic disruption.
“Joseph Enterprises was later summonsed to court for depositing mud on a highway without lawful authority or excuse in consequence of which a user of the highway was injured or endangered.
“Jonathan Joseph, of Lotmead Farm, pleaded not guilty on behalf of Joseph Enterprises but the company was found guilty during a hearing at North West Wiltshire Magistrates Court.
“The company was fined £500, made to pay a victim surcharge of £50 and £620 in costs.”
PC Sarah Cooper said: “This case should act as a stark warning that we are actively prosecuting farmers who leave roads in such a dangerous condition.
“In this case, the motorcyclist only received minor injuries but it could have been much worse.
“Not only did the actions of the farmer cause the road traffic collision, it also caused a main route into Swindon to be closed during rush hour which affected a large amount of people.”
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