By on April 24, 2018

At first, the headlines looked like a serious breach of justice: “Man Gets 8 Months In Prison After Flipping-Off Traffic Camera.” A jail sentence for a rude gesture?

As much as I have concerns about civil liberties and law enforcement, after tracking down the actual news (or at least a press release from the relevant police agency), it appears the case wasn’t as simple as jailing a man for flipping a bird at a speed camera. I have to say that the guy probably deserved some legal grief, if only for being too brazen.

On three different occasions, Timothy Hill, 67, of Grassington in North Yorkshire, UK, was photographed extending his middle finger as he drove past police vans equipped with speed cameras on the A19 highway last December. The UK has some rather strange laws concerning free expression, so I can’t say for sure that Hill would have completely avoided trouble had he not used sign language to tell Johnny Law to go screw himself, as he had also spec’d his Range Rover with a laser jammer.

Laser jammers are highly illegal in the UK, and apparently the camera vans were equipped with devices to detect them. So, it’s possible Mr. Hill would have been caught even without making the obscene gesture but, as a man who believes in hiding in plain sight, I have to say that Tim was a bit imprudent and unnecessarily brought attention unto himself.

I’m guessing the jammer actually worked, as the police did not charge Hill with any speeding violations. Instead, they charged him with the crime of “perverting the course of justice” — something I assume is comparable to a felony obstruction of justice charge in the U.S., because it carries a prison sentence if convicted. When Hill found out he was under investigation, he tried to destroy the evidence by throwing the laser jammer into a river that flowed behind his home. However, when confronted with evidence, he admitted using the device and agreed to plead guilty to the charges.

The judge in Teesside Crown Court said Hill’s use of the laser jammer and subsequent attempt to destroy evidence thereof were actions that “strike at the heart” of the justice system and sentenced him to eight months in prison as a deterrent to others.  Hill’s driving license was also revoked for a year.

North Yorkshire Police did an endzone dance using traditional and social media. Via a press release, Traffic Constable Andrew Forth, who led the investigation, said, “If you want to attract our attention, repeatedly gesturing at police camera vans with your middle finger while you’re driving a distinctive car fitted with a laser jammer is an excellent way to do it.” The department released live action video of Hill flipping said birds and tweeted: “Top tip: If you want to stay out of trouble, don’t do what this driver did and swear at our mobile safety cameras while driving past in a car fitted with a laser jammer. Today he’s beginning 8 months in jail for perverting the course of justice.”

[Image: North Yorkshire Police]

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117 Comments on “When You’re Thumbing Your Nose at the Law With a Laser Jammer, Maybe You Shouldn’t Also Flip Them Off...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Yes, he deserved a proper slap. Don’t agree with the laws, write your MP m8. No need to be a bellend.

    • 0 avatar
      carve

      Wow- what happened to you Brits? The state of free speech in your country is a farce, and you’re government is becoming an Orwelian survelience state that prosecutes people over wrongthink and hurt feelings.

      If it’s OK for the government to shoot lasers at you guys, you should be free to fire back so long as it doesn’t jam communications or present an eye damage risk.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        You may be correct, but keep in mind the UK does still have a representative form of government. Not so long ago, the British people made a democratic decision to remove their country from the EU, so it’s not like they can’t decide their own fate.

        Therefore, if they’re becoming more Orwellian, it’s because a) they want it that way, or b) the voting public isn’t paying attention. Take your pick.

        • 0 avatar
          carve

          Well, that’s why it’s important to have limits on government power and something like constitutionally protected freedoms. To have otherwise will always wind up in tyranny of the majority and oppression.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          In theory the UK has a representative form of government, but only as long as the people agree with the what the government wants to do. The majority of citizens voted for Brexit, I will be very surprised if it actually happens because none of the major parties wants it. I suspect there have been no votes regarding speed traps, because such votes would shut them down and the government needs the revenue.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            If Brexit doesn’t happen, it may well be because of the “powers that be” that don’t want it to happen, but more likely, the voters will figure out that they voted rashly and didn’t think the whole thing through. Again, it’s all up to the voters.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem


            If Brexit doesn’t happen, it may well be because of the “powers that be” that don’t want it to happen, but more likely, the voters will figure out that they voted rashly and didn’t think the whole thing through. Again, it’s all up to the voters.”

            Vote happened, people in charge didn’t like the result and are throwing up every possible impediment to delay or stop entirely the dissociation while claiming that it’s the voters who have now changed their minds and are full of remorse.

            You made multiple posts stating “hey that’s how they voted that’s how it’s gotta be” but now it’s “they didn’t know what they were doing, a re-vote is in order.”

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “You made multiple posts stating “hey that’s how they voted that’s how it’s gotta be” but now it’s “they didn’t know what they were doing, a re-vote is in order.””

            Nope, that’s not what I meant. I’ll paraphrase: if Brexit doesn’t happen, it may be because voters have second thoughts about it. Now, whether that leads to a vote to reverse or modify the original Brexit decision is up to them. It’s their country. Second thoughts are allowed.

          • 0 avatar
            Rasputin

            Yeah, that’s the ticket – another vote. Just like in Ireland when the EU lost – 3 times. Eventually a revote upset the original result. The sheeple just needed to get it right. Votes against the EU have been ignored by the bureaucracies in nearly all the EU countries, except places like Hungary & Poland. What do those countries have in common – just having lived under an authoritarian bureaucracy (USSR) for decades. they cherish their freedom.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “if Brexit doesn’t happen, it may be because voters have second thoughts about it.”

            And I consider that an incredibly naive viewpoint. Once the vote was done, it was incumbent upon the people in power to then execute the will of the people. They did not, and are fighting tooth and nail against it. It’s out of the hands of the voters at that point. Feel free to prove me wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Well, I think voters have a chance to change their minds. Apparently you don’t and find that to be naive.

            I guess we’re gonna agree to disagree.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Per your logic, should we start doing that for our presidential elections as well to deal with potential voter remorse? Any time the electorate goes for something that the people in charge don’t like it would be “guys, are you sure? Here, have another helping of our propaganda to mare sure things go our way this time.”

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            No, because as defined by the Constitution, the only way to remove a president is due to high crimes and misdemeanors, and “I changed my mind” doesn’t constitute either.

            But can the voters tell their elected representatives they changed their mind on a law that got passed, and repeal it? Sure, they can. Otherwise, the strongest thing you’d be able to legally order at a bar would be a shot of root beer.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Well it’s a question of timing and inaction then where our disagreement lies.

            US presidential election-> outcome accepted, president takes his place and in 4 years if enough people dislike him/her, they get voted out of office (or in certain circumstances removed prior to that following legal proceedings for doing something illegal)

            Brexit voters vote to leave->delays and inaction, “you guys sure?”

            Prohibition in the US-> voted for, applied, then voted on again and repealed 13 years later after proving massively unpopular

            So my issue is that Brexit as defined by the “Leave” notion was never even attempted at being implemented by the ruling party before being asked to vote on again. People voted to leave, implement the outcome that was voted for, and if that then proves unpopular then you go ahead and revisit the matter with another vote.

            What they’re trying to do is massively unfair to the voters.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I think the case in the UK is that a sizable number of people who did vote for Brexit are getting cold feet, and their elected officials are acting accordingly.

            To wit:
            https://whatukthinks.org/eu/questions/if-there-was-a-referendum-on-britains-membership-of-the-eu-how-would-you-vote-2/

            It’s not a matter of the politicians refusing to implement the public’s will, but rather one of the public’s will evolving.

            This is a huge decision for them. They’re entitled to rethink it. Their elected officials are required to respect that.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “This is a huge decision for them. They’re entitled to rethink it.”

            That’s a pretty weak argument, one based entirely on emotional appeal, not logic. “Well, it’s REALLY important, guys!”

            A fair vote happened, an action as a result of the vote should occur. Do you really think most UK politicians are worried about some of the constituents with “cold feet?” They may use that line of reasoning as an excuse, but I think it is clear as day that there is just too much money on the line for them to ever truly listen to the masses that wanted out.

            It was a mass repulsion by the UK’s version of the Rust Belt of the pro-globalist policies that hastened their communities’ demise, and very similar in that regard to the 2016 US election. And the same hand-wringing reaction from the “internationalist” class with vested interest in cheap labor and continued outsourcing that grows their donors bottom line. “The proles don’t know what’s good for them!”

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        They are not legal in the US either in most places. Though the early lasers you could jam by running with your high beams on.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Ah yes, “the law is the law”.

      Lots of awful immoral things are/were legal and ensnare many people before their MP has a chance to ignore their letters.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I just don’t understand whats left of that country.

  • avatar
    jh26036

    Just a tad harsh…what does the queen have to say about this?

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    This is actually refreshing seeing people made accountable for their actions. Seems like lately the moral compass of society has gone into the gutter. At least in the United States.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Be very aware and leery of people such as Ronnie Schreiber on our side of the pond.

    His views mesh with an outdated, perverse establishment that believes that aggressive enforcement of oft ridiculous laws, carrying oft RIDICULOUS PENALTIES (disproportionate to any alleged harm, often with serious risk of lengthy jail time, often for TECHNICAL violations of Byzantine and voluminous laws – many technical in nature themselves – a hallmark of an undemocratic society lorded over by the managerial class), and he is therefore, by what he here espouses, as but just one example, a threat to laws based on common sense, and of punishments of laws (many of which are idiotic and technical, with equally idiotic and massively oppressive, disproportionately severe consequences for their violation), and therefore on the side of the anti-liberty, statist, managerial class.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-eric-garner-laws-felons-chokehold-perspec-1125-20141204-story.html

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-11-20/too-many-laws-so-much-ignorance-something-has-to-give

    http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/dec/08/stephen-carter/watch-out-70-us-have-done-something-could-put-us-j/

    “Too Many Laws Turn Innocents into Criminals

    May 26th, 2010
    COMMENTARY BY
    Edwin Meese III @heritage
    Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus

    Edwin Meese III serves as Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus at The Heritage Foundation.

    America is in the throes of “overcriminalization.”

    We are making and enforcing far too many criminal laws that create traps for the innocent but unwary, and threaten to turn otherwise respectable, law-abiding citizens into criminals. Consider a few examples from the new book “One Nation Under Arrest”:

    • A 12-year old girl arrested and handcuffed for eating one French fry on the Washington subway system.

    •  A cancer-ridden grandmother arrested and criminally charged for refusing to trim her hedges the way officials in Palo Alto, Calif., were trying to force her to.

    • A former high-school science whiz kid sent to prison after initially being arrested by FBI agents clad in SWAT gear for failing to affix a federally mandated sticker to his otherwise legal UPS package.

    • A 67-year-old grandfather imprisoned because some of the paperwork for his home-based orchid business did not satisfy an international treaty….”

    “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      Looks like someone has been off the medication for a few days.

    • 0 avatar
      01 Deville

      Excellent comment. Agree 100%.

      Still disagree with you on Cadillac though -:)

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Regarding Cadillac, we can agree to disagree on whether Johan made critical mistakes and was incapable of successfully salvaging Cadillac as a profitable, long-term vehicle division, or even significantly rehabilitating the Cadillac brand name.

        All that (Johan’s time and tenure) is moot, however, because one can’t fix stupid, and GM is the stupid in the equation, so for as long as GM controls Cadillac, it matters not who is or is not the division head at Cadillac.

    • 0 avatar

      I believe that you have me confused with a straw man you have erected. I’m a small L libertarian who is on record opposing “malum prohibitum” crimes, crimes that are simply against the law, not immoral acts. I’ve referenced Harvey Silverglate’s Three Felonies A Day in my writing here at TTAC. I even alluded to the UK’s authoritarian attitudes towards public speech in this very post. I think it’s outrageous that someone there was fined for a funny video with a pug dog doing the “heil Hitler” Nazi salute.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      Are you at all familiar with Ronnie’s body of work? He does not even vaguely resemble the person you depict. (He’s the same author that was incredulous that the NHTSA might have some pointed questions about an aftermarket auto-driving system prior to it being sold. He seemed to prefer the “Chase after the robotic horse after it’s left the barn and mowed down some innocent bystanders” approach.)

      • 0 avatar

        Thank you for defending me but I believe you’ve made a similar error as Deadweight. My point regarding George Hotz and the Comma device was that NHTSA called the guy a “manufacturer” of motor vehicle equipment when he hadn’t manufactured any thing (at least how the law defines manufacturing, which has to do with actually making and actually selling actual products, not prototypes).

        Regarding autonomous vehicles, or robotic horses, I’m highly skeptical of the entire endeavor (beyond wanting a car that won’t let me kill myself falling asleep out on the road) and I’ve joined Alex Roy’s Human Driving Association.

    • 0 avatar
      Zipster

      Deadwood:

      Periodically you vanish from this site for several months but thankfully your always reappear. I have long hypothesized it is because your probation has been revoked and you were re-confined.
      Now it appears, based upon this entry, that my hypothesis was correct. You do have an antagonism toward the law which defies any other explanation. The sites that are providing you with this nonsense about sentences, which are obviously fiction, are not helping your rehabilitation.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        1) You are clearly an ignoramus (defined as “one who is ignorant”), who didn’t bother to read any of the articles/op-eds I linked to before responding.

        2) Keep cheering on the U.K.- style “crime” and “punishment” apparatus, whether expressly or implicitly, give. Your ignorance.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        1) You are clearly an ignoramus (defined as “one who is ignorant”), who didn’t bother to read any of the articles/op-eds I linked to before responding.

        2) Keep cheering on the U.K.- style “crime” and “punishment” apparatus, whether expressly or implicitly, given your ignorance.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Ronnie wrote some words to try and deflect from the fact that any sensible person could detect his gushing with glee over the fact that this “depraved criminal” (speeding with a laser jammer while flipping the bird at THE AUTHORITIES) was sentenced to 240 days in jail and stripped of his driver’s license for a year.

      • 0 avatar

        No, I just think the guy was stupid for drawing attention to himself while doing something illegal. He compounded his difficulties by first lying to police about the whereabouts of his car and then destroying evidence, and then admitting guilt.

        In general I’m not a fan of police, lawyers, or the criminal “justice” system. That being said, I’m also not a fan of stupidity.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Here’s the thing about straw man arguments Deadweight, I don’t have to debate the validity of your entire post to point out it has no meaningful relation to your target, Ronnie. Your post could be the genesis of an interesting side conversation, but is best when not headed by an unjustified attack on Ronnie.

  • avatar
    carve

    Wow- The UK is getting straight up Orwellian with free speech laws.

    Look up “Count Dankula”. Dude is facing two years in prison for making a YouTube video that was, essentially, poking fun at Nazis by teaching his girlfriends pug to do a Nazi salute in order to make him less cute.

    This guy is a hero. Laser jammers should also not be illegal so long as they’re not interfering with any kinds of communication or presenting a safety hazard (like eye damage)

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The UK has a representative form of government – if the people want laser radar gone, they should use their legislative process and make it happen. Until then, using a laser jammer is clearly obstruction of justice under their laws, and under any kind of common sense.

      The real issue here is the harsh nature of the sentence, which is clearly out of line.

      • 0 avatar
        Dynasty

        “The UK has a representative form of government – if the people want laser radar gone, they should use their legislative process and make it happen.”

        I think you are under the impression that law makers really care what their constituents think.

    • 0 avatar
      philipwitak

      you write: “Laser jammers should also not be illegal so long as they’re not interfering with any kinds of communication…”

      is not ‘jamming the radar device’ using one’s own ‘radar jammer’ actually interfering with ‘some sort of communication?’

      mr hill obviously suffers from a problem he shares with many others. he is simply too damn greedy, too damn aggressive and too damn self-centered. for his own good or anybody else’s.

      in this instance, a legitimate law has been legally created and put into force. so it logically follows that those individuals subject to that law are obligated to adhere to it, or face the penalty for failing to adhere to it. period. established speed limits are clearly intended for the benefit/safety of all individuals using the road.

      driving is a privilege, not a right. if mr hill wishes to continue doing so, he needs to clean his act up and get with the program – once his privileges have been restored. until then, he will apparently have plenty of time to reconsider his selfish, unsafe, antisocial behavior behind the wheel and all of its attendant ramifications.

      no sympathy whatsoever for him from me.

      • 0 avatar
        carve

        No- that’s surveillance. A radar jammer, for instance, might cause interference for all kinds of other systems, like door openers, aircraft radar, radio com and all kinds of things that have nothing to do with the car.

        The laser jammer really only affects the laser speed sensor. It causes no other problems. You could say it facilitates communication: the laser gun asks “can I see how fast you’re going?” and, in this case, the answer is “no”.

        You’ve know idea if he was driving like an ass or even speeding, or what road conditions were like. Speed limit is the same whether you’re in that modern range rover or a 40 year old delivery van with 4 mismatched retread tires, day or night. It’s arbitrary.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    This whole mess begs two huge questions:

    1) Is that a robin egg blue Range Rover?

    2) Did they actually fish the laser jammer out of the river to get a conviction on this guy?

    The actual police state, Orwellian stuff is really just a distraction from these two crucial issues.

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      Great points.

    • 0 avatar

      He admitted to throwing the jammer in the river so finding the evidence wouldn’t be necessary.

    • 0 avatar
      spreadsheet monkey

      It’s probably white; most Range Rovers in the UK are.

      I agree with Ronnie’s comment – “Tim was a bit imprudent and unnecessarily brought attention unto himself.”

      Speed camera vans are often fairly obvious. This guy presumably knew it was a manned speed camera van, why else would he be making the gesture? Perverting the Course Of Justice (PCOJ) is a very serious offence in the UK.

      Question for you Americans – would you flip the bird at a stationary Highway Patrol car parked beside the road, and not expect some form of punishment?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        It’s actually legal to flip the cops off here. It’s also legal for the cop to write the bird-flipper a ticket for 1 mph over the speed limit, a cracked windshield, and whatever else he can figure out.

        So…it’s legal. It’s also stupid.

      • 0 avatar

        “Question for you Americans – would you flip the bird at a stationary Highway Patrol car parked beside the road…?”

        Not if I was simultaneously committing any civil or criminal infractions.

        I’m pretty sure the PCOJ charge was about lying to the police and trying to destroy evidence.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I do occasionally, but generally my hands are on the wheel.

        @Freed

        Traffic code is written purposely to allow the LEO to do whatever they want. Because freedumb.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          And when the LEOs do whatever they want, stuff like this is the result:

          http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/missouri-legislature-sends-municipal-court-changes-governor#stream/0

          http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/traffic-enforcement-court-collections-continue-to-drop-in-post-ferguson/article_e289b576-7d5d-5b1e-a5ab-676561c1a848.html

          Cops don’t operate in a vacuum.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          I’ve flipped-off one of the infernal “your speed is..” trailers.

          (Also have determined that one of the ones my local revenue-collectors use maxes-out at 55mph. Determined when there was a lack of said writer-uppers, other traffic, and especially pedestrians, present.)

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “Question for you Americans – would you flip the bird at a stationary Highway Patrol car parked beside the road, and not expect some form of punishment?”

        F**k YES! Freedom of expresson, man.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        Re: Question for you Americans,
        Have you seen the story of the lady who was fired for flipping of the POTUS convoy who’s suing for wrongful termination?
        LEOs get a special law about flipping them off. It wouldn’t stand up to a serious, well funded defense because of constitutional protections of free expression, but we allow those who can’t arrange a well funded serious defense to be imprisoned (after a summary beating, oops “resisting arrest”) anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          Roader

          A private employer should be able to fire an employee who violates her employer’s code of conduct policy. Putting that same power in the hands of the state is Orwellian.

          The relevant verbiage for our non-Americans friends is “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech,…”

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            “Have you seen the story of the lady who was fired for flipping of the POTUS convoy who’s suing for wrongful termination?”

            Like how some people were fired by their employers for being photographed in the vicinity of controversial rallies but don’t appear to be doing anything illegal?

        • 0 avatar

          Have you seen the stories of Brendan Eich, James Damore, and Brett Weinstein, who lost their jobs at Firefox, Google, and Evergreen State Univ., for daring to challenge the politically correct leftist orthodoxy?

          “Bake the cake, prole!”

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          The lady flipping off the President isn’t cut and dry since she was employed by a DoD Contractor. Slightly different set of rules there. The contractor likely didn’t want this to be an issue when it was time to renew the contract. Honestly if one feels that strongly about who is in charge they would likely be happier in the private sector where this sort of thing wouldn’t be as big of a deal. I spent 20 years on active duty and had to bite my tounge, especially on Social Media and do the same nowadays as a contractor. Common Sense is a thing.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    wow and just before this I read about police officers shooting a un armed kid and no jail time, hell no charges, well I guess they take justice to a different level across the pond.

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      Police in the USA go by a different code. Not that this can be compared to shooting an unarmed human. But in Utah a police officer left his K9 service dog in an suv without the ac running. Yes, the outside temp was close to 100 and Dog died. Basically people felt sorry for the police officer. These dogs are actually considered an officer. This guy should have been put in jail.
      Shortly after this happened another K9 service Dog was killed by a non-police officer. He was sentenced to 15 years in jail if I’m recalling correctly.

      • 0 avatar
        S197GT

        So I presume you are talking about this:

        http://fox13now.com/2015/07/18/k-9-dies-in-hot-police-car-after-being-trapped-for-10-hours/

        “The sheriff’s internal investigation indicated that the handler forgot the dog was still in his truck on July 3, when the high temperature in Logan reached 95 degrees. Upon finding the dog dead, the handler immediately notified his division commander.”

        The handler was convicted of a misdemeanor and received community service and probation. He is no longer with the department.

        https://www.sltrib.com/news/2017/11/13/utah-police-officer-gets-probation-community-service-for-death-of-k-9-left-in-patrol-vehicle/

        But your logic equates un-intentional (if reckless) conduct with presumably intentional killing.

        Wouldn’t want to live in your police state.

        I don’t see anywhere where anyone “felt sorry” for the deputy and I don’t think anyone did.

        • 0 avatar
          VW4motion

          Community service?!? Any other person would get jail time. I live in Utah and yes the comments from the department basically said we feel bad for the officer and this person was never arrested/handcuffed.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    8 months in jail for using a radar detector/jammer? That’s more time in the slammer than the Pakistani rapists got, but I guess perhaps this gesturing motorist doesn’t have protected religious beliefs.

    • 0 avatar

      It seems to me that the harsh sentence was for lying to investigators and trying to destroy evidence. That would get you a jail term in the U.S. as well. Now whether or not it should be a crime to lie to the police when it isn’t a crime for the police to lie to you is a separate question.

      I think that all laws should equally apply to government employees and regular folks. I’m all for gun control as long as the same rules are applied to law enforcement. I’m all for making it a crime to lie to the FBI as long as FBI agent have to do time when they lie to us.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        Is it really worth spending taxpayer money to keep this guy in jail for 8 months? It seems to me like hefty fine and community service be a better benefit to the community. There really doesn’t seem to be any benefit to prison time.

        • 0 avatar
          Dynasty

          “There really doesn’t seem to be any benefit to prison time.”

          It’s determent. UK is turning, or has already, into a police state.

          The USSR used to send people guilty of far less off to Siberian work camps as a message to the others.

  • avatar
    Booick

    Im my experience mostly road layouts (they are terrible in most cities) are the cause of frustrated driving, that and people with no situational awareness, to put it nicely. Fix the roads and a lot of this goes away. Rather now, in some states, aggressive driving is a violation. As one of the elements of aggressive driving is gestures, yelling, etc. I am surprised no one has contacted the aclu and fought the statute on first amendment grounds. I know I would. Driving in 2018 is generally not even fun. Too many cars on thr road and bad road layouts in cities all over the us make it a pita.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      The problem is driving in cities, or anywhere near them. Just getting back to Ohio from the DC area is a huge weight off my shoulders. In a truly unpopulated area, driving can actually be fun.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    In Merry England’s heyday Mr. Hill’s spiked head would have decorated London Bridge for messing with the monarch’s authority!

  • avatar
    cicero1

    Thankfully, in the US free speech is still protected. This absolutely includes flipping off police and police cameras.

    google Hackbart Pittsburgh free speech: “U.S. District Judge David Cercone granted summary judgment to David Hackbart, who said in a federal suit that Sgt. Brian Elledge violated his constitutional rights by issuing him a citation in 2006.

    “Elledge’s response to Hackbart’s exercise of his First Amendment right was to initiate a traffic stop and issue a citation for disorderly conduct,” the judge wrote. “Clearly, Elledge’s conduct was an adverse action in response to Hackbart flipping him off.”

    The case will now proceed to trial in U.S. District Court on the underlying claim that the city doesn’t adequately train its officers to know when they’re violating someone’s rights.

    The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that giving someone the finger, even a police officer, is protected free speech.”

    The suit settled with the city paying him $50,000.00

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/aclu-helps-pittsburgh-man-get-50000-after-flipping-off-copsfinger-protected-by-first-amendment/

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      This is true, but most people would rather just pay the fine and move on with their lives. The key for the state is too not be so oppressive that anyone actually fights back.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Certainly his actions re: the jammer itself were unambiguously illegal, and similar actions would be illegal here in the US. (e.g. smoked license plate frames to foil toll cameras, radar jammers, etc.)

    I suspect the authorities might have let it slide if he just slunk along anonymously, but the active goading did exactly what you’d expect it to do.

    It likely wasn’t illegal per se to flip off the cops, but it does have a tendency to encourage the authorities to actively enforce the law you are violating at the time.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Not all heroes wear capes.

  • avatar
    Ultraviolet Thunder

    As a Libertarian, I have a HUGE problem with anyone being charged with anything when it comes to free expression – even if it is against the Police. I have no qualms about siding with those who believe the police are not owed an easy job or easy access to phones. The Constitution protects us with free speech and due process and prevention of illegal searches and seizures. With that said, I also feel strongly that police only have to exercise a modicum of decision making when it comes to preserving their own lives when they feel threatened. I don’t advocate any violence toward police and want the police lives protected and if they feel threatened, deadly force should be used. Beyond that, I want police investigations impeded by the speed bump of civil liberties for citizens even if that makes it tougher on the police to crack cases.

    As for this dirtbag, England is a weird place with laws. He should have known better than to be such a cad.

  • avatar
    gtem

    let me guess, the guy had some contraband butter knives and gardening tools in the Rover to boot :p

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/feb/11/knife-police-liberty-clinic

    twitter.com/mpsbarnet/status/976007945094909952?lang=en

  • avatar
    Roader

    “Laser jammers are highly illegal in the UK…”

    Is that just one step below ‘super duper illegal’? And how does this crime against the state compare to watching an unlicensed television in the UK? Similar prison terms?

  • avatar
    danio3834

    This man is a hero. Jail time for a laser jammer? GTFO.

  • avatar
    doublechili

    He’s lucky he didn’t get an extra year in jail for polluting the river by throwing the jammer into it. These uppity citizens need to know who’s boss.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    Bark at a police dog in at least some US communities and you’ll find yourself arrested. So much for free expression..
    http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/9496533/florida-gators-lb-antonio-morrison-arrested-barking-police-dog
    “Morrison’s defense was the dog barked first, according to a police report.” – I love it.

    • 0 avatar
      Roader

      ‘The State Attorney’s Office has dropped the misdemeanor charges against Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison for barking at a police dog and resisting arrest.

      According to the Associated Press, State Attorney Bill Cervone said the “dismissal is based on the lack of evidence to warrant much less legally sustain those charges, and the complete inappropriateness of pursing court action against Morrison, or anyone else, under the circumstances involved.”

      Cervone told the AP that he reviewed the tape and did not see any resistance “beyond questioning the actions of law enforcement, which is not illegal.”‘

  • avatar

    He played a stupid game and won a stupid prize. Maybe he ought to think about his actions while looking out the window at the baby blue RR Sport he can’t drive.

    Don’t goad the authorities into hating you, you won’t gain anything in the process. Then when you get caught, destroying evidence doesn’t help much.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    It’s the UK, the government has no interest in protecting people who can’t fight back. That’s why Richard Osborn, a 78-year old man who killed a burglar in his own home, has been driven into hiding while the police protect the rights of the criminal’s family to create shrines on Mr. Osborn’s property. Google Henry Vincent.

  • avatar
    walleyeman57

    I need the know more about this “jammer”.

    I thought just leaving your lights on- including fog lights- greatly reduced the range of laser speed reading to about 1/4 mile.

  • avatar
    redgolf

    Mr. Hill in the first picture, looks like the same guy that would tell the neighborhood kids to “get the he_ _ off my lawn !!!!

  • avatar
    NeilM

    Then there was this:
    https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/ant-mcpartlins-record-breaking-86000-14540191

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I liked him the moment I saw that leading picture. His sense of self-preservation could use some finessing, though.

    I’m less interested in his use of a jammer than I am of how he was driving while doing so. A mellow 10-15 over on a ridiculously low speed limit stretch of highway? Who cares, I lean liberal in American politics and would want to do the same. Aggressively weaving, tailgating, and bullying others out of his way? Well, the sometimes you’re the Louisville Slugger and sometimes you’re the ball.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    The only major UK paper to cover this “outrage” seems to be The Sun, owned by that well known law abider and all around saint Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch and his family continue to own both 21st Century Fox and News Corp through the Murdoch Family Trust.

    Which is probably why Google is full of US reaction to the story and much caterwauling. Even from google.co.uk, there is mostly US coverage

    All the keyboard warriors here will no doubt be giving the finger to cops tomorrow to prove free speech is alive and well in the US. Note: this is an especially recommended move for persons of color.

    As for the guy who thinks headlights really affect lidar range, the good news is that french fries contain no fat.

  • avatar

    I had a jammer for a while. The one thing you don’t do is “jam to gun”, as you want the LEO to get a reflection. Unlike radar, which will go 90—87–83—78—65, the laser won’t lock until it gets a certain number of pulses back. Laser also works best at distance, so you can slow and switch off in a lot of situations. Again, you want the LEO to get a clean lock when you are close.

    So, aim-fire-raspberry*, slow up, shut off, cop will fire again, wondering why it didn’t lock but will stop wondering as soon as it does. Only the smell of brake pads will give you away.

    Jam to gun ? Idiot.

    *Spaceballs reference.

  • avatar
    Mike-NB

    Wait! Isn’t that Henry Kissinger???

  • avatar
    bcboat

    Urban legend, or early 70’s drug induced haze? I remember back in the day Virginia state troopers couldn’t seize your illegal to use but not illegal to own radar dectector, but they could and did order you to drive off after placing it ahead of your front tire.
    I also remember reading about a radar detector that could ‘tell’ the radar gun what ever speed you dialed in. I very much enjoyed the 70’s, so my memory may be a bit…hazy.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I find it odd after reading some of the comments regarding what freedom of speech is, or for that matter what is freedom by our B&B?

    Freedom isn’t having the right to do as one wants. Many people who exercise what they deem as their freedom encroaches and affects others are in fact reducing their (the other’s) right to freedom.
    I don’t think giving the bird was the reason for his imprisonment, it was a collection of several not too bright decisions he’s made.

    Freedom. I believe some of you guys really need to sit down and understand what freedom really is. American freedom is quite selfish at times, with little regard for others, Aussie freedom, UK freedom, any freedom is the same when abused by the selfish.

    • 0 avatar
      Roader

      Similarly, our English speaking brethren might need to sit down and understand what American freedom really is. Here’s a short compare/contrast from Subotai Bahadur over at the Chicago Boyz blog:

      ‘In Canada, the purpose of the Canadian Constitution [in both its written and unwritten parts as codified in the Constitution Act of 1982 is to allow freedom except when the government wants to restrict it. There are no absolutes, and like in Britain, the Parliament can do anything. It is a different viewpoint than ours.

      The UK and Canada views the government as the guardian ad litem for the people who are viewed as legally incompetent and in their custody. The American view in the Constitution as written is that the government is the employee, agent [with revocable agency], and servant of the people who are competent to determine their own fate. Part of the problem we face today, is that both major parties have adopted the UK/Canadian view with that additional perk of being able to line their pockets and be above the law completely. That view is not agreed to by the American people, or at least not all of them, and the issue is currently in dispute.’

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Roader,
        It’s good to see you have a belief.

        How I look at it is a little differently. I view governments role to support what the nation/people needs first, then wants second. Using or terming governments role as subservient to the people as you used might make you feel better inside. But the reality is you have little input into how the US is run. Large corporations and the mega rich lobby the US government to get and run things the way they want. This is no different than any other democratic nation, or for that matter even Russia.

        The differences lie in how we manage influential groups and hold those with power to account.

        I see the President of the US as a “voted” King. I don’t believe the “King” of the US should have the powers he does. His role should be that more of a figure head, like the Royals in other Commonwealth nations, including the UK. The British learnt a long time ago having one person with greater powers is not wise.

        Imagine the US people voted a fool in for President, he can easily move the country backwards.

        The problem with the way in which the US uses it’s President is it reduces the separation of power. The Parlimentary system allows for far greater separation of power than the US system does.

        I do think you believe in Americian Exceptionalism. I don’t mind and I’ll tolerate the views of American Exceptionalists, just as I tolerate religious people.

        • 0 avatar
          Roader

          It’s a matter of scale, Al. Tiny countries like New Zealand and Norway are much easier to govern than a large country like the US, Brazil, Russia, or Indonesia. Hence US federalism with its emphasis on individual states power vs. a powerful national government. The states electing the president and that president not being beholden to the elected legislature is one way to limit the power of a national government.

          Electing fools for the head of government is hardly restricted to presidential systems, as Neville Chamberlain, the current Canadian PM, and Billy McMahon prove.

          But it’s good to see you have a belief.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Roader,
            We are talking Federal/National powers here, not second level government.

            I believe it’s more the size of the land that dictates whether you have states, along with how a nation was initially colonised.

            Pre-existing nations that go back hundreds of years did not have a Federalised system of States like many “new” nation have now and they are generally smaller, ie, EU.

            Australia has states as well, but in the 1930s the individual state power was reduced with the use of taxation. This has worked out well.

            The US like Australia had separate Colonies at the inception of our lands. To organise them into a coherent workable group is how we arrived at individual State powers. This was palatable in offering them that ability to remain individual, but have the protection of a collective.

            Maybe it’s time to change that.

            As for the Parliamentary leaders, like Chamberlain, etc. They might have been fools, but their power was greatly reduced by the system.

            I do believe the greatest asset with a Parliamentary system is nothing can be enacted or passed without going through both Houses.

            Whereas, in the US the President has was too much authority to make decisions, and as the current President has shown, decision making can be quite poor and wanting.

            Another issue is the ability to modernise government to reflect, culture, technology, etc.

            Like Charles Darwin’s “The Evolution of the Species” we will find out eventually which system of Democracy prevails. Somehow I don’t think the US system will be the one.

          • 0 avatar
            Roader

            Al, when I referred to tiny countries being more easily governed, I was talking about population, not geography. For instance, about half the states of the United States have more people than New Zealand in its entirety. The parliamentary system with just two separated powers probably works well for such a tiny country, small countries like Australia, and maybe even medium sized countries like the UK. A large country like the US however benefits from a third power in the form of a powerful executive branch chosen by the states. 50 laboratories of democracy and all that, with a severely limited (originally, anyway) national government. And it seems to have worked well since the US has had the same constitutional republican government for 230 years come this 4 July. Compare that to France, a parliamentary republic, which is on its fifth government in about the same number of years. To paraphrase Mark Twain, your report of the eminent death of the United States is greatly exaggerated.

            Re: the current US chief executive’s “decision making can be quite poor and wanting”. Compared to who? The US economy is booming, unemployment rate is at historic lows, the US is due to become the world’s larges oil producer either this year or next, and we may have peace on the Korean Peninsula for the first time in 60-some years. Plus he’s reducing the size of the bloated national government quickly and efficiently. If that’s “poor and wanting decision making”, please, may I have some more sir?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Roader,
            Somehow I think I’ve discussed this with you previously, under a different alias.

            Trump did very little to put the US economy where it is right now, and it “ain’t” powering along. 2.56% over the year? This is not very good, not bad. Very good or powering along to me is 3.5% and above over a sustained period.

            As for the size of a country and managing it, I do believe bigger should be able to do more as costs will be reduced.

            Countries like Australia and even Canada have far larger overheads to maintain infrastructure than highly populated countries or densely populated regions.

            There are pros and cons to every story.

            As for the US, its like Brittania and Brittania is sinking further right now.

            The US will take longer to deflate than the UK, unless an upheaval occurs.

            The US is now in transition and it’s fighting the wrong issues. Great Britan as it was called slowly lost it’s “Allies” and Colonies over a 50 year or so period.

            Initially the Brits fought, ie, War of Independence. As time went on the British wars became smaller with less significance, until they just let Colonies go on their merry way.

            Now with Brexit, it will lose the EU, which it needs for it’s very survival.

            Once the UK leaves the EU the vultures will come in and clean up the rest.

            The two most important Anglo countries are in decline. That leaves the younger Anglo countries the future.

          • 0 avatar
            Roader

            Al, I’ve had my TTAC logon name for at least a decade. I’ve never had a different one.

            Per capita GDP (US$-PPP-2017); 2017 GDP growth:

            United States $59,495; 2.2%
            Australia $49,882; 2.2%
            Canada $48,141; 3.0%
            United Kingdom $43,620; 1.7%
            New Zealand $38,502; 2.9%

            Agree, last year’s GDP growth in the US wasn’t great–most likely a hangover from Obama’s awful performance–but that seems to be turning around:

            ‘Amid signs of labor market buoyancy, the Fed also raised its forecast, predicting the economy would grow this year at an annual rate of 2.7 percent, up from 2.5 percent in December. Employers around the country are reporting difficulty finding skilled workers with the unemployment rate at 4.1 percent and headed lower. First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell to 209,000 in the week through April 21, the lowest level since 1969.

            “The Trump administration can stop looking for ways to bring jobs to America because almost everyone out there in the country who has a heartbeat has found employment already,” economist Chris Rupkey of MUFG Union Bank told clients in a research note Thursday.’
            WaPo, 27 Apr ’18

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Seems like an irrelevant pissing match that got out of hand.

    In any event, 8 months in jail for an essentially victimless crime BY A 67 YEAR OLD MAN seems ludicrous.


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