Yesterday I brought you part of a trial in which Mr Geoffrey Thimble is accused of neutralising a speed camera. This he did by fixing in front of the lens a video device which played a porn film, so the traffic surveillance officer who monitored that machine would get the shock of his life. Worth having a bit more of, I think...
Thimble: I have explained that I think speed cameras cause accidents. I therefore wished to start a campaign to put them out of action. However, other people who have done this by destroying the cameras have received hefty sentences, so I had to devise a way of deactivating them without causing any damage.
Counsel: Could you not have just as effectively painted the lens with opaque paint? Or used masking tape?
Thimble: I thought of that. But I am hopeless with sticky tape. I take ages to find the end, and then it always folds back on itself...
Counsel: Quite so. What about paint?
Thimble: Have you ever tried shinning up a speed camera holding a pot of paint and a brush?
Counsel: No. Have you?
Counsel: Well, could you not put a plastic bag over the top...?
Judge: I am sorry to interrupt your little chat, Mr Driver, but I do not think this court should be used for a discussion of the best ways to circumvent the law.
Counsel: I take your point, m'Lud. Now, Mr Thimble, you are also charged with disseminating pornographic material...
Thimble: It is only illegal to make a profit out of it. I made no profit.
Counsel: Nevertheless, you did cause this material to be shown.
Thimble: Only to one person.
Counsel: To some poor unsuspecting traffic surveillance officer.
Thimble: Poor? Unsuspecting? These people are not innocents! They are voyeurs! They are leeches! They sit, hour after hour, glued to speeding traffic, hoping that someone will go too fast or crash, so they can secretly flog the tapes to TV programmes called Motorway Mayhem or High Speed Horror or something. Counsel: But do you have any proof that they do...?
Thimble: No. Do you have any proof that they don't?
Counsel: It is not up to me to prove such a thing. When you make an accusation, you must back it up with hard, solid proof.
Thimble: Then prove that I did what I am accused of.
Counsel: Willingly. I have film footage here which shows you climbing the speed camera mast, taken by a CCTV camera installed to guard against such a thing...
Thimble: Excuse me. Are you telling me that the authorities have installed cameras to survey other cameras?
Counsel: That is so.
Thimble: Have they installed other cameras to survey the CCTV cameras they have installed to survey the speed cameras?
Counsel: I have no information on that point.
Thimble: And are we being filmed as we speak?
Counsel: Well, yes, but purely as a matter of record...
Thimble: Could you point the camera out to me, so that I can turn to it now and again?
Counsel: This is no laughing matter, Mr Thimble...
Thimble: I should think not. You are filming me without my consent. This is directly contrary to all laws governing media exposure. I know enough about TV and film to know that, before filming takes place, the subject must have the chance to sign a permissions document or be given the opportunity to opt out. I am opting out.
Counsel: Mr Thimble, I would like to get back to the day on which you committed the offence. Thimble remains silent.
Judge: I get the impression that Mr Thimble has opted out, Mr Driver.
Counsel: What shall I do now, m'Lud?
Judge: I don't know, but I shall be interested to find out. And remember that you are being filmed, Mr Driver. You had better be good or I shall rush out with the footage and sell it to some TV programme such as Blushing Barristers or Cock-up in Court...
Counsel: Yes, m'Lud...
The case continues, though not hereReuse content