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Man who squirted traffic warden 'outrageous'

A councillor has called the actions of a man who verbally abused a traffic warden, and squirted her with a water pistol, "unacceptable and outrageous".

Tony Coupe, 53, received a £70 fine for illegally parking in a loading bay in Ambleside.

Kendal Magistrates heard how he then told county council employee Amy Harrison to "shush", before squirting her with a water pistol he normally uses to control his dog.

Ms Harrison described the incident as “humiliating and embarrassing”.

He was convicted of harassment, fined £1,000, and ordered to pay £400 compensation to his victim, £620 court costs, and a victim surcharge.

“It sends a very strong message that the abuse of our staff will not be tolerated.

"Be they parking enforcement officers, social workers or someone working in a library, there is a boundary which must not be crossed.

"This was an unacceptable and outrageous case of a member of public abusing a council employee doing their job."

– Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council


Wrestlers prepare for Ambleside Sports Day

The event dates as far back as the 17th century - this picture was taken in 1989 Credit: ITV Border

The annual Ambleside Sports will take place later today, Thursday 31 July, at Rydal Park.

The event features traditional Lakeland sports including Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling, fell races and hound trails.

There has been a traditional sports day in Ambleside as far back as the 17th century.

Proposed tourist centre sparks debate

Plans to build a £1million tourist centre near Ambleside to celebrate the life of the artist Kurt Schwitters are causing friction in the area.

Schwitters died a pauper, but he's now recognised as a great contemporary artist. However locals in Elterwater, where he had his studio, say a tourist centre could spoil their rural village. Fiona Marley Paterson has more.


Director of Hayes Garden centre jailed

The director of Hayes Garden World of Ambleside has been jailed for 18 months Credit: ITV Border

The boss of one of Cumbria's biggest garden centres has been jailed for 18 months for concocting a story in an attempt to get out of a drink-driving charge.

45-year-old Thomas Richard Hayes, director of Hayes Garden World of Ambleside, colluded with 57-year-old odd job man Derek Henderson over who was driving a luxury Porsche when it crashed near Kendal nearly two years ago.

Hayes Garden Centre owner jailed

The owner of one of the Lake District's best known businesses has been jailed for 18 months for conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Richard Hayes, of Hayes Garden Centre in Ambleside, attempted to lay the blame for a drink-driving offence on one of his employees.

Hayes and the employee, Derek Henderson, were charged after questions arose as to who the driver of a Porsche was when it was involved in a crash in November 2010 near Kendal.

Hayes was jailed for 18 months and Derek Henderson for 12 months.

“We hope that today’s convictions and sentences serve as a warning to other motorists who seek to evade the law.

The two men conspired together to deliberately mislead the police and the courts in relation to who was driving the car at the time of the collision.

Hayes was arrested at the scene and was convicted after trial of driving over the alcohol limit and driving without due care and attention. He then lodged an appeal naming Henderson as the driver.

However the judge was not satisfied with their version of events and asked for a further investigation into who was driving at the time."

– Katie Nicolson, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West
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