Man caught on phone driving to work then rages at police in 'PC Plonker' rant

Daniel James leaves Cardiff Magistrates' Court
-Credit: (Image: Conor Gogarty)

A man called a police officer "PC Plonker" in a swear-filled rant after being caught using his phone while driving to work. Daniel James, 31, ended up in front of a magistrate who told him: "What a silly boy you are — a father-of-two and you're acting like that."

Prosecutor Eurgain Lloyd told Cardiff Magistrates' Court that James was driving a black Citroen Dispatch van on May 30 along the A4065 in Brynmenyn, Bridgend county. Police patrolling in a vehicle then noticed James was using his mobile phone while waiting at traffic lights and was not wearing his seatbelt.

"The police officers instructed him to stop and he became aggravated," said Ms Lloyd. "He told the officers he was on his way to work. Throughout the incident he used offensive language despite being told to stop doing so on numerous occasions."

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The court heard James called one of the officers "PC Plonker" and a "p***k" as well as a string of swear words. "When they tried to arrest the defendant he resisted arrest nine times by not placing his hands behind his back," Ms Lloyd added. "The officers had to use PAVA spray to incapacitate him so they could apply handcuffs. While being held in a cell he apologised for the incident and said he was going through a difficult time."

James, of Teilos Drive in Brackla, pleaded guilty to resisting an officer in the execution of his duty and driving while using a handheld device and not wearing a seatbelt. The court heard he had 13 previous offences on his record, though only one from the last 11 years. Representing himself, he said: "I would just like to say I am sorry about that day. I was on my phone. I have nothing to hide. I'm just worried about my licence due to my job. It was just one of them days. I did apologise to the officer afterwards." Asked his income, he told the magistrates he earned £730 a week after tax.

Passing sentence, Presiding Justice Cheryl Bowen called James a "silly boy" and warned him not to repeat his offending. "You're very fortunate that you brought mitigation to the court today, with a glowing reference from your employer," she said. The magistrates imposed a £486 fine, £194 victim services surcharge and £85 in prosecution costs. They added six points to his driving licence, which already had three points for a previous speeding offence.