Man fined £200 for speedwatch group ‘rant’

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A man has been fined £200 after ‘ranting and raving’ at a group of community speed watch volunteers.

Robert Bloom, 48, of Rednall Lane, Stowupland, was found guilty of using threatening and abusive words and behaviour at Bury Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Bury Magistrates Court

Bury Magistrates Court

Prosecuting, David Bryant told the court that Bloom had been travelling along Wetherden Road in Elmswell on May 14 at around 3.10pm while speed watch volunteers Kenneth Couilling, Mark Knights and Alan Thompson were checking the speed of passing vehicles.

He said even though he had not been speeding, and the group’s speed gun hadn’t been raised, Bloom shouted obscenities out of the window, stopped and reversed up to the group. He then got out of his white van and began verbally abusing them.

Mr Couilling said: “The driver had the passenger window down and started mouthing off in the most foul and abusive manner.

“The driver then got out and approached us ranting and raving.”

Defending himself, Bloom denied being aggressive, saying the three men had colluded against him.

He also said that he disliked speed watch groups as it was ‘open to manipulation’ and could ruin people’s lives.

He said: “I was just giving my opinion.”

Fining him, Presiding Magistrate Michael Sweeting said: “It seems getting your point of view across has been quite expensive.”

Bloom was also made to pay £620 in court costs and a £20 victim surcharge. He was found not guilty of a charge of assault.