Speeder moves the sign posts
Some drivers will go to extraordinary lengths to escape a speeding fine.
But John Hopwood's efforts take some beating.
After being flashed by a speed camera in a 30mph zone he attempted to hoodwink the police by stealing a 40mph sign, driving it ten miles, refitting it beside the road where he was caught, photographing the scene and posting the picture to the fixed penalty office.
The plot might have worked but for some elaborate detection work described in court yesterday as 'as exciting as The Da Vinci Code'.
It involved the drafting in of a medical artist who specialises in the reconstruction of corpses' faces, who was able to prove that the sign in Hopwood's photograph was identical to one from the other location.
In the end Hopwood was the architect of his own downfall.
The 44-year-old motorist had in fact been flashed twice in the space of 24 hours in his Mazda 626.
The first time he was driving at 48mph in a 40mph stretch of Princess Road, Manchester.
The following morning he was snapped doing 41mph in Albert Royds Street, Rochdale, a 30mph zone.
The tickets he received in the post said, wrongly, that both zones had 30mph limits, so in an attempt to correct the facts in relation to the first offence and perhaps lessen his penalty, he took a photograph of a 40mph sign in Princess Road to send to the authorities. But what started out as an attempt to correct a mild injustice stirred Hopwood's less noble instincts and very quickly turned into an attempt to pervert justice.
He decided to detach the red-circle sign from its post, drive it to the site of the second offence ten miles away, mount it on a lamp-post there and photograph it again.
He sent both photos off to the penalties office - and even had the nerve to enclose a letter telling officers how 'angry, upset and shocked' he was at being branded a law-breaker.