A HORTON man who was stopped by police for not having a number plate fixed to his van claimed that he was just trying to get out and work to support his family.

Robert Joseph Guppy was at the wheel of his flatbed truck which was being driven through Chard town centre when the officer indicated for him to stop.

His vehicle was displaying a number plate on the rear but there was not one fixed to the front of his truck so he was reported for the offence.

Guppy, 30, of St Peters Close, appeared in the dock before Somerset Magistrates, sitting at Yeovil, where he pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle without having a registration plate fixed to it on September 16 last year.

A further offence of using a vehicle while holding a handheld mobile phone on the same date was dismissed.

The court was told that the defendant was spotted by police who were on foot patrol in Fore Street in Chard shortly before midday.

His vehicle was pulled over into an empty taxi bay and he admitted the offence.

Guppy told the magistrates that he felt like he was getting fined for just going to work which was what he was trying to do at the time.

“It is getting over the top now,” he said. “I can’t afford to pay more fines and it was only broken because somebody backed their vehicle into my truck on a building site and knocked it off.

“I am struggling to make money and just want some respect that at least I am going out there and trying to work.”

The magistrates fined Guppy £83 and also ordered him to pay a £30 victim surcharge but no costs.