On your bike says freewheeling Arthur

WHEN freewheeling Arthur Carter tried to sell his motorbike the child of the 60s had no idea he would kick-start a three month legal nightmare.Mr Carter, of Saxmundham, ended up in court after showing a potential buyer his motorcycle.

WHEN free-wheeling Arthur Carter tried to sell his motorbike the child of the 60s had no idea he would kick-start a three month legal nightmare.

Mr Carter, of Saxmundham, ended up in court after showing a potential buyer his motorcycle.

However when a driver pulled up outside his home and told him he needed to wear a helmet Mr Carter made an off the cuff quip which ended with him embroiled in a bizarre legal battle.

"I said, I don't need a helmet, I'm a child of the 60s! It was a jokey comment," he said.


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To the biking brigade, the freedom of two wheels is summed up by the cult movie Easy Rider staring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, which follows the two hippies biking across America and epitomised the freedom of the open road.

However in Mr Carter's case the driver involved turned out to be an off-duty police officer - and a short time later two uniformed officers arrived at Mr Carter's home in Curlew Court.

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They asked him to take a breath test, which he refused. He was then handcuffed and taken to Leiston police station where he again refused a test.

He spent four-and-a-half hours in custody and says he endured the humiliation of having his DNA and fingerprints taken.

He faced the possibility of being charged with refusing to take a breath test – which carries an automatic ban, not riding his bike with the correct head gear, no MOT or insurance.

Mr Carter is enraged by the way he was treated and said he should not have been stopped because he was riding his motorcycle on private land.

Curlew Court is a small development of four homes, built around a common driveway.

This driveway is not a highway, it is owned jointly by the four homeowners. It was this driveway that he was riding the motorcycle on.

"I refused to take the breath test because I was so angry that the police could just push into my house like that.

"My wife couldn't understand what was happening and was really upset by the whole business," Mr Carter said.

He is a security officer at the Sizewell Power Station site and said he has never been in trouble with the police before.

The Crown Prosecution Service eventually dropped the charges against Mr Carter, who had already been called to Lowestoft Magistrates Court four times, on October 11.

"I am just glad I had two potential buyers with me as witnesses," said Mr Carter.

"I have been driving a lot of years and the thought of having my licence taken away from me was a terrifying feeling so when the charges were dropped it was a huge relief.

"This has shaken my faith in the police - I cannot believe how this kind of thing can happen, and I am still very annoyed by the whole episode," he said.

Mr Carter is now considering whether to take any action against the police.

A Suffolk Police spokeswoman today said: "If any officer has a suspicion that someone has committed an offence such as drink driving they have a duty to stop them and take appropriate action.

"Any decision not to proceed with the case is a decision for the CPS."

n Do you think it was right for Mr Carter to be arrested and charged?

Send your comments to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or email: EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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