Yorkshire: Osama Bin Laden mask driver in trouble

A motorist has been hit with a police warning notice - after he was caught wearing a mask of Osama Bin Laden.

Stephen Taylor said he put the rubber mask on to amuse pedestrians while behind the wheel of his Nissan Micra in Wakefield.

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But he was spotted by a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) who reported the incident - and received the warning notice a few weeks later.

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Two officers turned up at Mr Taylor's home in Darnley, Wakefield, to hand him the notice and said wearing the mask while driving may have caused "alarm or distress" to members of the public.

They also said wearing the mask could have posed a danger and warned him his car would be seized if he wore the mask behind the wheel again.

Window cleaner Mr Taylor, 54, said he found the rubber mask on a street while doing his rounds in Ossett.

He said he was driving along Horbury Road in Wakefield at around 7pm on November 6 when he stopped at a Pelican Crossing and saw a group of around 20 youths arguing.

Mr Taylor went on: "It looked like a fight was going to start and I thought, 'how can I defuse the situation?' Then I remembered I had the mask in the car and thought if I put it on, it will give them a laugh and cheer them up.

"I tapped on the window and they cracked up laughing, saying 'Bin Laden.' I carried on down the road for about half-a-mile and I got caught by a PCSO stood near some trees, who must have been watching these youths.

"He caught a glimpse of my mask as I was pulling it off."

Two officers turned up at his house on Sunday, November 28 to hand him the notice.

Mr Taylor added: "It's been blown up out of all proportion. What about somebody who is in fancy dress or dressed as a clown while driving to a job? This legislation is wide open for the police."

A police spokesman said: "Police issued a warning advice note under section 59 of the police reform act in relation to a man's behaviour while driving on a public highway.

Coun Judith Blake

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