A LORRY driver told a seafront ranger he could do whatever he liked before his vehicle hit the council worker at Pier Approach in Bournemouth.

Contractor Lee Tony Burdon was repeatedly asked to stop by ranger Thomas Harris as he was driving the wrong way in a one-way traffic system in place for the pedestrian area on the day before the Bournemouth Air Festival.

Poole Magistrates’ Court heard Burdon, 45, was transporting a bouncy castle on the back of his Volvo lorry to a different part of the beach when the incident took place shortly before 1pm on September 1, 2021.

Prosecuting, Kellie Salter said the defendant, who has been an operator of seafront rides for many years, became verbally abusive towards Mr Harris.

Burdon told the council worker “get the **** out of my way” and “I can do whatever the **** I like”, the court heard.

Ms Salter said the defendant also said “I can’t stop, my vehicle isn’t road legal at the moment”.

Mr Harris stood in front of the lorry trying to get Burdon to stop. He radioed the control room so they could see the incident on CCTV, which was played in court.

The court heard Mr Harris had recognised the defendant, who had been a contractor with the council since 1999.

Burdon pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention on the day of trial on Wednesday, June 8.

Mitigating, Lawrence Selby said there had never been any previous problems involving his client and council staff.

Mr Selby said the defendant did not dispute that his vehicle made contact with Mr Harris on two separate occasions.

“The reason the incident happened in the first place is quite simple,” said Mr Selby.

He said his client had been asked to move his rides to make space for the air show.

Burdon’s vehicle was already in the restricted access area when he was asked to do this and the direction of traffic flow in the one-way system had changed on that day.

“The difficulty was that Mr Burdon simply didn’t know that,” said Mr Selby.

As he had not entered the area in his vehicle that day he was not aware of the change, the barrister said.

He added: “He was completely oblivious to that change of direction.”

Mr Selby said Mr Harris was doing his job and the defendant should have listened to him.

“He didn’t and this is why this unfortunate incident has occurred,” Mr Selby said.

Burdon, of Hoptonheath, Shropshire, is a father-of-three and his company employs 25 people, the court heard.

Magistrates issued him with a £864 fine, along with requirements to pay £310 costs and an £86 surcharge. His driving record was endorsed with five points.

The bench also imposed a 12-month binding over order, which required him to keep the peace.

If the defendant causes any member of council staff to fear for their safety at any stage in the next year, he will have to pay £4,000.

Burdon was told his offence was “in Bournemouth on one of the busiest days of the year when families, with young children, were present".

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