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Club official fined for laser jammer

PUBLISHED: 11:34 05 November 2010

A SENIOR official of Lowestoft Town Football Club was this week fined more than £300 for fitting his car with a laser jammer device, which renders police speed guns ineffective.

Joseph Annis, 68, the club’s vice-chairman, pleaded guilty to obstructing police after a laser jammer in his Ford Mondeo prevented officers recording his speed on the A47 near Acle.

Annis was fined £325 by Yarmouth magistrates who also ordered the hi-tech device to be destroyed.

His conviction is one of the first in Norfolk as part of a clampdown by Acle traffic police on speeding motorists who are trying to avoid detection by fitting laser jammers to their vehicles.

Yarmouth magistrates heard on Wednesday that Annis was spotted overtaking cars on the A47 near Acle, on the afternoon of October 17, by Sgt Geoff Bowers, who is leading the clampdown.

Rachel Balfour, prosecuting, said Sgt Bowers focused his laser speed gun on Annis’s car. But, she added: “The laser would not give a reading.”

It was later established that Annis, of Park Meadows, Lowestoft, had been travelling at 81mph – 11 mph over the 70mph speed limit on that stretch of dual-carriageway.

The court was told the jammer was a legitimate sensor system, used to open garage doors. However, an online description stated: “The garage door openers also happen to jam laser guns.”

Miss Balfour said that, on inspection, police found that in Annis’s car there was also an indicator and sound system which switched to red and made a noise when the jammer was working. “The police are looking at these devices fitted deliberately knowing it would avoid a fine or penalty points.”

Magistrates heard Annis, who is also a senior Waveney District Council lifeguard at Southwold, was entitled to have the device in his car as long as it was used for its original purpose. Annis had the device in his old car in which he had been fined for speeding in 2008.

Rob Barley, representing Annis, said his client has never intentionally set out to avoid detection. He said: “He is deeply embarrassed and was going to represent himself today. His first words were going to start with an apology.”

Annis was also fined £60 and had three points put on his licence after admitting speeding on October 17.

l The laser jammer clampdown has been launched by Acle road traffic unit after officers became aware of the gadgets when a turbo-charged Porsche 911 was stopped on the A47 in March.

Since then, officers have come across dozens of the devices, which cost £500 and are marketed on the internet as parking sensors. Last month, 21-year-old Jamie Shreeve, of Caister, became the first person in Norfolk to receive a driving ban for using a jammer. Several other motorists are due to appear at Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court on December 21 in relation to laser jammer devices.


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