Driver fined for blowing his nose may face trial

If you avoid using your mobile phone, throwing litter from your car window and obey the rules of the road, you would naturally consider yourself a law-abiding driver. And so did motorist Michael Mancini. However, while stuck in a stationery queue of traffic, Mr Mancini took the opportunity to blow his nose. Little did he realise he was breaking the law. Eagle-eyed policeman Stuart Gray took note of the incident and handed out an on-the-spot fine of £60 and three licence points to Mr Mancini, explaining that he was "not in proper control of his vehicle".

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Mr Mancini has vowed to clear his name, particularly in view of the fact that his handbrake was engaged at the time.

"I was just completely gobsmacked," the 39-year-old told the Daily Mail. "I thought it was some kind of Beadle's About moment – a wind-up. I made sure it was safe. The traffic was nose to tail in the high street."

His mistake, however, was to cross paths with PC Gray – after all, his colleagues don't call him PC Shiny Buttons for no reason.

Only a few months ago, PC Gray issued a £50 penalty for littering to the unsuspecting Stewart Smith. His crime? He had accidentally dropped a £10 note in the street after leaving a shop.

For Mr Mancini, though, there could be a long legal battle ahead but his solicitor Peter Lockhart insists: "We will be pleading not guilty and will fight it all the way."

In the meantime, should PC Stuart Gray be allowed to continue his over-zealous approach or is this a perfect example of the misuse of power?