London, Mar 3 (ANI): A British man has been banned from driving after he took his pet dog for a walk by holding his lead out of the window of a moving car.
Paul Railton, 23, was spotted with the lurcher trotting beside the driver's door, magistrates at Consett, Co Durham were told, and rather than being shamed, he insisted he was "not bothered".
"A lot of people exercise their dogs in that manner," the Daily Express quoted him as stating.
"It's a joke. I'm not bothered. Lurchers need a lot of exercise, so this is the easiest way for me to do it.
"I was only driving along at about 5mph on a quiet country road with my hazard lights flashing. There was no danger.
"The best way to give a dog like that the exercise it needs is in this way," he said.
The court was told how officers followed him after a tip-off that two men were dragging a dog along the road by a lead.
"He accepts it was a silly thing to do and there was an element of laziness. He does not usually drive in such a manner. He is often under surveillance, often followed," Paul Donoghue, defending, said of the driving offence.
"He is always aware that at some stage, day or night, he could be being watched by police. One of the officers was in CID. That officer had not long been part of the case against Mr Railton that had collapsed," Donoghue said.
Prosecutor Sharon Lowrie said Railton was stopped on a narrow lane in his Nissan Navara 4x4 car.
He put the dog in the back of the car and was allowed to continue his journey but five days later officers turned up at his home to charge him.
"I explained the dangers to the other road users and that he was not in full control of the car. Due to the narrow road there was no area for other cars to pass," a police officer's statement read out in court said.
Railton admitted not being in proper control of a vehicle and was fined 66 pounds with three points on his licence. Under the totting up rules he was disqualified from driving for six months.
After the latest hearing, unemployed Railton, of Annfield Plain, Co Durham, claimed he was being persecuted by police after he was accused of attempted murder last year only for the trial to collapse.
"The police have got a vendetta against me. Why was a CID officer pulling me over for this?" he said.
"It's stupid that they are dealing with minor matters like this when they could be dealing with more important matters," he added. (ANI)