Fine for lorry driver who sprayed tear gas during spat over parking in Huntingdon

The case was heard at Cambridge Magistrates' Court

The case was heard at Cambridge Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

A French lorry driver who used CS gas on a fellow HGV driver during a disagreement in Huntingdon has been fined £1,000 by magistrates.

Yoann Cloteaux, 29, was involved in the argument in the delivery area of Kitchen Range Foods Factory, Kingfisher Way, on Monday (January 14).

A witness told police he saw Cloteaux approach the cab of another lorry and spray something through the window at the driver. After examining the canister, police firearms experts confirmed it to be CS gas (tear gas).

Cloteaux admitted spraying the gas but insisted the window was up at the time. The argument started after Cloteaux parked too close to the lorry in front, causing the driver to almost hit his lorry while trying to reverse.

The spray is legal in France in quantities of less than 100ml but is illegal in the UK and is classed as a prohibited item under the Firearms Act 1968.

Cloteaux pleaded guilty to possessing a weapon for the discharge of noxious gas at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday. He was handed a fine of just over £1,000, including costs.

DC John Whitworth, who investigated, said: “Even though Cloteaux is a professional driver and has driven here on many occasions, he had no idea the spray was illegal in the UK and had made no attempts to research the matter.

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“Thankfully, nobody was hurt on this occasion, but I hope this can be a warning to other HGV drivers and visitors that ‘personal defence’ sprays are illegal in the UK and will not be tolerated.”