1. ITV Report

Laser jammer driver who gave speed cameras middle finger jailed

A company director from North Yorkshire who fitted a laser jammer to his Range Rover and raised his middle finger as he drove past speed cameras has been jailed.

Timothy Hill, 67, used the device to try and scramble the beams of speed cameras A19 between York and Middlesbrough in December last year.

But the ruse backfired when the 67-year-old's gesture caught the attention of police, and Hill was jailed for eight months for perverting the course of justice.

North Yorkshire Police said Hill threw the device in a river behind his home in Grassington when discovered that he had been caught on camera and found out that officers were investigating.

He then claimed that had not been driving the vehicle and was working 60 miles away at the time.

But pictures showed by raising his middle fingers to cameras from behind the wheel of the vehicle, which has distinctive private number plates.

Timothy Hill gesturing at a speed camera Credit: North Yorkshire Police

A police spokesman said: "Hill drove past North Yorkshire Police's mobile safety camera vans on the A19 near Easingwold, Thirsk and Crathorne on three occasions in December.

"Officers began an investigation and Hill initially lied about being behind the wheel and tried to destroy the jammer.

"But after officers visited his home and interviewed him about the incidents, he admitted he was the driver and he had fitted the device to his car.

"Police were unable to ascertain his speed but charged him with perverting the course of justice, which he pleaded guilty to at court."

The judge who jailed Hill said such actions 'strike at the heart' of the justice system and his sentence must act as a deterrent to others. Hill was also banned from the road for a year.

Traffic Constable Andrew Forth, who led the investigation for North Yorkshire Police, said afterward: 'If you want to attract our attention, repeatedly gesturing at police camera vans with your middle finger while you're driving a distinctive car fitted with a laser jammer is an excellent way to do it.

It's also an excellent way to end up in prison. As Hill's case shows, perverting the course of justice is a very serious charge which carries a custodial sentence.

It's our job to keep road users safe across all 6,000 miles of North Yorkshire's roads. Mobile safety camera vans are an important tool to do that – they are proven to reduce collisions and they help save lives.

Drivers who fit laser jammers may mistakenly feel smug about 'getting one over' on the police. But we can tell if motorists are using these devices, and we will always endeavour to bring them to justice.

– Traffic Constable Andrew Forth