Bin thrower ends in jail
A MAN who put motorists' lives at risk by throwing a dustbin onto the A12 was today beginning a five-month prison sentence.Robert Bradlaugh, 48, from Cobbold Road, Woodbridge pleaded guilty to the unusual charge of dangerously placing an object in the road.
A MAN who put motorists' lives at risk by throwing a dustbin onto the A12 was today beginning a five-month prison sentence.
Robert Bradlaugh, 48, from Cobbold Road, Woodbridge pleaded guilty to the unusual charge of dangerously placing an object in the road.
South East Suffolk Magistrates Court heard how Bradlaugh caused a two-car crash when he threw a black plastic dustbin onto the dual carriageway.
Bradlaugh, who lived next to the A12, insisted he was trying to protect his dog.
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However, Godfried Duah, prosecuting, said Bradlaugh threw the object because "he was not happy with the noise coming from vehicles on the road".
The court heard how Bradlaugh threw the bin onto the A12 causing a Renault Kango van to brake suddenly. A following white Ford Escort, travelling at about 40mph, then crashed into the back of the van causing "substantial damage".
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There were two people in the Renault and one in the Ford but, luckily, no one was hurt.
The rear bumper, the chassis and both rear doors of the van were damaged in the incident.
Howard Catherall, mitigating: "It was an impulsive decision and Mr Bradlaugh had seen his dog run towards the road.
"His initial thought was saving the dog and he then threw the dustbin, which he had been holding, to stop the traffic. Had he thought about things more carefully he would not have taken the action he did.
"He had been drinking throughout the afternoon and that might have influenced his decision making."
Passing the five-month sentence, District Judge Read told Bradlaugh: "I have listened very carefully and I note there is a difference between your view and the prosecution.
"You have a considerable number of previous convictions, a large number of those involving drink.
"This is a serious offence. You threw this dustbin on a busy road and caused a two-car pile up. Thank God no one was seriously hurt.
"If I was dealing with this at the Crown Court you might have got eight or nine months, but it is at Magistrates Court and I will give you credit for your guilty plea."
Roger Vincent, a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents condemned Bradlaugh's actions as "stupid."
Mr Vincent added: "It was extremely dangerous. The bin could have easily gone through someone's windscreen.
"This type of punishment does send out the message that people do need to be careful."
Neighbour Angela Martin – whose house backs onto the A12 – agreed traffic noise did cause sleep disruption but said throwing a bin on the road was "going too far."
Mrs Martin, 50, of Cobbold Road, Woodbridge, said: "I would not go as far as throwing something on the by pass – it is a bid stupid because he could have killed someone.
"But it is noisy living here, obviously because of where it is because there is a by-pass at the back.
"I moved here 14 years ago when I got married.
"Since I have moved here it the traffic has built up over the years and it just has got noiser and noiser.
"It is difficult to sleep – you get about one hour's break from it from about 2 am to 3 am. My husband is a shift worker at Felixstowe Docks and is trying to sleep all sorts of funny hours.
"He likes to sleep with the windows shut and I like to have them open. He sleeps with ear muffs because it is so bad."
It is thought Bradlaugh's dog will be looked after by a relative who is a key holder of his property.