Convicted Segway rider loses appeal

rossparry.co.uk'Picture shows Segway rider Phillip Coates who is the first person in Britain to be prosecuted for using a Segway scooter on UK roads.'Barnsley Court have ruled it is illigal to ride the machines on UK roads and have fining the Yorkshire Man  �50..00''rossparry.co.uk / Andrew McCaren

rossparry.co.uk'Picture shows Segway rider Phillip Coates who is the first person in Britain to be prosecuted for using a Segway scooter on UK roads.'Barnsley Court have ruled it is illigal to ride the machines on UK roads and have fining the Yorkshire Man �50..00''rossparry.co.uk / Andrew McCaren

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A MAN from Barnsley who became the first person in the UK to be convicted of riding a Segway scooter on a pavement has lost an appeal against his sentence.

Phillip Coates, aged 51, of Park Avenue, Cudworth, was fined £75 with £250 costs and a £15 victim surcharge after he was spotted by police riding the two-wheeled device on Pontefract Road last February.

Earlier this year District Judge Michael Rosenberg ruled at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court that legally the Segway is a motor vehicle and therefore it is an offence to ride one on a footpath.

Coates, an unemployed factory worker, appealed against the decision, bringing a case against the Crown Prosecution Service.

But the conviction was upheld by High Court judges Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Langstaff, sitting at Leeds Crown Court.

After the hearing, Phillip said he was ‘very disappointed’ at losing the appeal.

“I’d hoped the court would be sympathetic,” he said.

“All I have ever been asking for is equal treatment with cyclists, who are allowed to use their bikes on pavements and roads in certain circumstances.”

Coates called on the Department for Transport to reconsider the issue, adding: “I feel there is a need for consistency. I am obviously disheartened.”

His solicitor Victoria Molloy said the legal defeat marked ‘the end of the line’ for Phillip’s case.

“We can’t do anything with it now. Ultimately it’s in the hands of the judges. I’m disappointed for Phillip,” she said.

Coates was prosecuted under section 72 of the Highways Act 1835.

The High Court judges were asked to determine whether Barnsley Magistrates’ Court applied the law correctly.

Lord Justice Munby said: “In my judgment the appellant was properly convicted. The appeal, in my judgment, ought to be dismissed.”

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