A TATWORTH farmer who drove his tractor to the pub for a pint after work has been fined £660 with £620 costs and given eight points on his licence after it was discovered he wasn’t insured to drive it for social purposes.

A police officer was on duty in the area when he spotted Joe Hare driving his Massey Ferguson tractor to the Cotley Inn and then later drove it home after having a drink.

He was only insured to drive the vehicle for agricultural purposes and his policy did not cover him for social use so he was charged.

Hare, 26, of Wellings Close, pleaded not guilty by post to using a tractor on an unclassified road in Cotley, Chard, on March 14 without insurance but was found guilty of the offence following a trial held before Somerset Magistrates in his absence.

Prosecutor Suzie Butler said that the defendant drove to the pub in Cotley and was observed by the police officer driving home at 7.30pm in his tractor.

“The police officer had an in-depth knowledge of agricultural vehicles on the road and discovered that the defendant’s vehicle had never been permitted for social use on his insurance policy,” she said.

A statement made by the officer said he observed Hare’s tractor travelling to the Cotley Inn and when he started driving home he stopped him on Palfreys Lane and told him he was not permitted to use the vehicle for social use.

After hearing details of the case the magistrates found the case proved in the defendant’s absence.

They fined Hare £660 and endorsed his licence with eight penalty points. He was also ordered to pay £620 costs and a £66 victim surcharge.