Phone call costs driver £130

A MAN has been fined after being caught behind the wheel on his mobile phone.

Philip Barrie Brand was driving his Ford Focus car on the A689 southbound when his mobile phone rang.

Prosecuting at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court, Samantha Morgan-Bayliss told justices: “The defendant stopped at the traffic lights on the A689 with Truro Drive and the police officer, who had spotted him talking on the phone, pulled up alongside him. When the defendant realised he put the phone down.

“When he was spoken to he said it was a call he had received from work despite the fact he was supposed to be on holiday.”

Brand, of Braemar Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to using a handheld mobile phone while driving on December 17 last year.

He represented himself in court and told chairman of the bench Sandra Mason: “For 16 years I’ve always been available and helpful to people at work so they quite often ring me even when I’m off.

“I tried to get this particular chap off the phone straight away but he kept on talking. I should have been much more blunt, or I shouldn’t have answered it full stop, I’m really sorry.

“I’ve taken steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I’ve stopped answering the phone altogether and I’ve asked the office not to ring.”

Mrs Mason fined Brand £65, ordered him to pay £50 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.