Man convicted after flouting Lantern Parade road closure

The Town Council is proud to host a number of community events every year and we naturally take the safety of visitors very seriously. Some of these events involve the temporary closure of roads to allow parades to pass through and we do our best to ensure that these closures are publicised in advance through signage and our social media and we seek to minimise disruption to residents and local businesses.

At the 2018 Lantern Parade a car ignored the road closure signage, verbally abused a member of Town Council staff and breached the road closure order to drive up King Street, in the process striking said member of staff on the hip, but fortunately not encountering the parade as he drove off.

This incident was immediately reported to Cheshire Police and on Wednesday 25th September Mr Paul Lockton appeared at Chester Crown Court charged with dangerous driving. Mr Lockton was found guilty and sentenced to two months imprisonment suspended for 12 months, 150 hours of community service and a 12-month driving disqualification.

In sentencing, Mr Recorder Atkinson said: “You drove your Audi R8 dangerously on a dark and rainy winters night in Knutsford Town Centre. The road was closed appropriately, and signs had been placed on King Street. It was explained to you by the marshall, Mr Garner, that a children’s lantern parade was due to emerge onto the road at any moment.

You responded with abusive language to the marshall who was there to enforce the road closure and protect the children and adults in the parade. You drove at speed in the very direction the parade was due to emerge from and in doing so struck with Mr Garner with your car. You were highly culpable and placed others at risk. Thankfully the injury to Mr Garner was minor but your actions were shocking to those that witness them.”

Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green said “Mr Lockton’s actions endangered the public at our event. When roads are closed, they are closed for a reason and drivers should not attempt to just proceed past barriers. We like this to serve as an example of the potential implications for those who consider that the rules do not apply to them.”

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