back to article Mechanic drove three miles with angry bloke on bonnet

A Northern Ireland garage mechanic who drove for three miles with a disgruntled customer clamped to the bonnet of his car has been cleared of a raft of charges including assault and dangerous driving, the Belfast Telegraph reports. Gerry Brown, 53, was at his yard near Castlewellan in February 2008 when Lesley Quirey and his …


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  1. Richard 81


    "They said there was nobody available"

    Yet they managed to divert someone to nick him.

    I know police forces can be overstretched, but "there's no one available" just isn't an acceptable answer.

    1. Stone Fox

      reminds me of this joke, you might have heard.

      but i'll repeat in for those that haven't. It's supposed to be a true story, don't know can't verify.

      Guy out in the sticks calls the police late at night and says "There's a burglar downstairs, I don't think he knows I'm here so if you come quick you'll catch him!"

      To which the police despatcher replies "I'm sorry sir we have no-one to send"

      The guy swears and hangs up, but rings back a couple of minutes later and says "Don't worry about that burglar, I got my shotgun out the case and blew his head off, I'll dispose of the body in the morning!" and hangs up.

      5 minutes later half the damn police force turns up, cars, vans, armed police, helicopter and dog unit where they accidentally catch the burglar attempting to do a runner.

      When confronting the homeowner one very angry police officer says "I thought you shot him?!"

      to which the man replies "I thought you had no one to send?"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        You would get done for wasting police time if you did that... unfortunately

        1. jackharrer


          I always do this with CrimeStoppers. I just call them (it's anonymous!) and tell them that some extremely dangerous sh*t is happening. They tell me to call police (which is a waste of time) and I tell them that if somebody dies or get seriously hurt it's their fault. Then hung up.

          Police always comes in 5min max. Plus you don't need to leave your details, so nobody harasses you afterwards. Job well done!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I can kind of vouch for that...

        ...the other year I was assaulted out and inside my home for my car keys by three large youths.

        So whilst one solitary vigilant neighbour of mine (thanks modern society) had looked outside, seen the racket I was making for somebody to call the police, the buggers said they had absolutely nobody to send as the city had apparently suffered some kind of crime wave at the time, yeah right.

        They questioned him further, wondering whether it was a genuine call, and he had to argue loudly to the police down the phone that he was staring at the perps who at that time had me pinned to the ground!

        So of course, after the scumbags had shot off with my car, my DSLR camera and laptop, an unknown amount of time passed (I was in shock of course) some officers turned up saying they were only just returning to the station from doing a patrol of the streets in a different area of the city! Basically I got a response from the absolute dregs of police response, not that they didn't handle it reasonably professionally, I suppose.


        It happened again a few days later to somebody else on my street! Again, the perps spent a lot of time ransacking the house and got away scot free.


        To my knowledge they're still on the loose.

  2. Smallbrainfield
    Thumb Up

    Ha ha ha ha!

    How many people are seeing that Father Ted episode in their mind's eye?

    1. Code Monkey

      Not arf

    2. Robin

      re: Ha ha ha ha!

      That'll be the one where Graham Norton et al were riverdancing in the tiny caravan?


    3. Studley
      Thumb Up


      "He's puncturing the tyres, Ted!"

  3. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Up

    Let's hear it for common sense!

    Someone's running in fear of their life, so what do the Police do? Arrest him on a bunch of silly charges and let the guy threatening him go because it's going to be easier to charge the victim with crimes than make a case against the attacker...


  4. smudge


    "Regarding the Staffordshire bull terrier, Philip Quirey admitted he and his nephew happened to have one in the car boot..."

    Aye, they're right boogers to shift once they take a liking to a place.

    I once had a whole family of Great Danes took up residence in the glovebox of my Mini....

  5. Disintegrationnotallowed


    Better to get someone charged with motor vehicle offenses ( and the ensuing fines presumably), than go after the nut job...

  6. dogged

    "a toy for the dog"

    Balls. Any of my Staffs would have reduced a pick-axe handle to rocking horse shit in about 30 seconds. A crowbar, now, that might last.

    1. Chronos

      Re: "a toy for the dog"

      Double balls. Any self-respecting Staffie would knock itself cold trying to get through a door at full pelt with the centre of the pick axe handle in its mouth and the rest stuck out either side. Trust me on this, I've yet to meet a Staffie that has any idea of its own width or that of whatever it happens to be carrying, which is one of the reasons they're widely known as "comedy dogs" to those in the know...

      1. Tom Chiverton 1

        !just dogs

        Hamster's have the same problem if you give them digestive biscuits that are too wide for Habitrail tunnels.

  7. Subban

    Reminds me..

    Of one I read about a while ago, some guy looks into his backyard or whatever and sees someone breaking into his shed, he calls the police telling them thats it happening right now, but "noone is available", so he claims something along the lines of "ok, I'll get my rifle then." or something like that.

    Within minutes the place was crawling in coppers who suddenly did get very very available, to probably arrest the home owner for making a threat, I can't recall details now.

  8. min


    ..just suck.

    poor guy. as the victim, he is the one getting prosecuted because some neanderthal with a dog and an Axe tried to scare the life out of him, and would've probably beaten it out of him too.

    the police should just be given pink uniforms and told to stand on motorways with hairdryers because they are a waste if this case is the rule rather than the exception...although one hopes not..i do live in a dodgy neighbourhood and would not like to be prosecuted for public indecency if i get the shirt stolen off my back and the shorts from my crack.

  9. Andus McCoatover


    Bull Terrier? Dangerous dog? "Happened" to have one in the boot?? So, maybe they just forgot it was there (Another criminal offence)

    Obviously dangerous, as it needed a pickaxe handle for a 'toy'. I'll get my moggie a chainsaw or an AK47 to play with.

    Sense prevailed. Personally, I'd have slammed the brakes on, forcing the prat onto the road, and "Unfortunately, in the confusion, I mistook the brake for the accelerator, M'lud"

    Oh, they weren't chasing him with the broken-down car, I guess.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Unbe-fuc*king-lievable!

      A staffy isn't necessarily a dangerous dog, you prat. All kinds of people keep them as pets, some of whom are aggressive idiots like this one, and I think he was probably doing quite well with the intimidation on his own without the dog.

      You're having a bit of a week, aren't you?

      1. Oninoshiko
        Thumb Up

        Indeed, Sarah.

        "There are no bad dogs, just bad owners."

        People, both intentionally and inadvertantly, train their dogs to do all kinds of thinkg. aggressiveness is just one of them, and it's tradgic.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Breeds have distinct tendencies

        All dogs are potentially dangerous given the right circumstances. They are subject to instincts, and will attack given the right signals. I've seen a dog that was normally a timid, docile animal tear a possum apart with its teeth - almost a 'jekyll and hyde' experience - and at times like that you see the animal concealed beneath the 'man's best friend' exterior.

        Certain breeds have a greater tendency to aggressive behaviour, and with some breeds that risk is high no matter how well they have been raised. There have been more than a few unfortunate cases where a trusted (well-kept) family pet has killed a baby or ripped into a visiting child, much to the horror of the owners. There are certain breeds that should never be kept by a family.

        1. The First Dave

          @Sarah, @oninoshiko

          The law may be a bit arbitrary with regard to dangerous dogs, but the simple fact is that certain breeds are inherently dangerous. There are plenty of bad owners, and as a result there are plenty of dangerous dogs that are not officially on the dangerous breeds list, but which are never going to be safe without a muzzle, but that simple, sensible half-way house seems to be too easy an idea.

          1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: @Sarah, @oninoshiko

            I don't think you know very much about dogs, but I'll grant you that large or powerful dogs are more dangerous than smaller ones in the sense that *if* they attack, they'll do more damage. However, you can't tell just from a dog's breeding whether or not it will ever attack anyone or anything. You can't. Sorry.

      3. Andus McCoatover

        You're having a bit of a week, aren't you?


        Men don't suffer from direct PMT. Just indirect PMT, from their female partners.

  10. Rocket
    Paris Hilton

    once again the police go after the little man

    ... literally in this case. Were they intimidated too?

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      At least...

      ... they couldn't charge him with being Tall in the presence of a police officer. Probably got him for glancing with intent to eyeball instead.

      1. Andus McCoatover

        Wasn't it a Python skit?

        [Constable] "The defendant dealt me a nasty blow to my fist with his eye"

  11. Outcast

    Ello John...

    I bet he never sells a dodgy motor again

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    reminds me...

    Of an urban myth (or true story) Chap phones the police, explain burglars are in the garden. Police explain they are busy and cant get anyone there for 30 minutes. Caller says he will go out and investigate with his gun. 3 minutes later armed response arrive saying we thought you had a gun. Caller retorts I thought you didnt have anyone available for 30 minutes.

  13. Citizen Kaned
    Thumb Up

    common sense prevails!

    reminds me of when my cousin (only 18) and his mate were out town drinking. they get jumped and soem guys try to mug them and beat them up. so they ran to their car and drove to the police station for help. where he was charged with drink driving and lost his license!!!!

    and the pigs wonder why nobody likes them?

  14. Atonnis

    I want this judge... be sat on a panel of 'overjudges' to review cases in the UK. Sounds like he actually has some sense!

    Typical police behaviour though...a guy calls up begging for help and the only response is 'if we can't nick you we aren't coming'. Whatever happened to police HELPING those in need?

  15. PaddyPower
    Paris Hilton

    Mmmm pickaxe handles..

    jesus, if that mutt "toys with pick axe handles".. what would he do to a leg??

    Paris, because she knows how to handle an axe..

    (there's gotta be a better variation on that)..

    1. Dom S
      Paris Hilton

      Paris because...

      Paris, because she already has an axe wound...


    2. Bryce 2
      Paris Hilton

      Here's a variation for you

      A pick axe handle is also known as a shaft.

      I'm sure that fits better with your comment :)

    3. Anonymous Coward

      You are not even trying Sir

      She can play with my handle......

      Paris probably plays with bigger toys....

    4. dogged

      I seriously can't believe

      that with this whole story to choose from, you pick on the dog. Which didn't attack anyone. Or get involved in any way.

      Explain this to me?

  16. Harry

    Its time the police used some common sense

    A good start would be an intelligence test for all recruits and senior officers.

    But though the judge showed common sense in dismissing the case, he did less than he could. A better judge would have insisted that the officer responding to the call was barred from public service for life and his seniors formally reprimanded for allowing an incompetent person to be employed.

    1. mky


      Common sense is counter productive in law enforcement, as in it is not profitable.

    2. Bryce 2


      In the the US they DO take an intelligence test... only if you are too smart they won't hire you.

      There was a big ruckus raised about that a couple years ago, I forgot the exact details, but basically some guy took their intelligence test, scored too high and they refused to even interview him for the job.

  17. Terry H
    Black Helicopters

    This is really scary

    Sometimes the UK "justice" system just baffles me. In many ways things have regressed to the dark ages. Even refusing to sit quietly in your flat and letting someone hack off your arms is likely to get you arrested for making too much noise.

    Maybe the driver got charged because it was the word of 2 (assailants) against 1 (victim). Or perhaps one of the assailants had noble blood? Not that NZ has any, but DAMN Folks!!

    You know the French were really on to something with that whole revolution thing. Granted they went a bit too far but they did certainly fix the immediate problem. At the absolute minimum the government should pay the poor bloke a BIG settlement and ALL the police involved (including the idiot 999 operator) should be fired and bared from ever working in a police service again.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    So typical....

    .. that the police got it so wrong.

    Do you have to permanently disable the common sense parts of your brain when you become one? It sure sounds like it.

  19. peter 45
    FAIL for the police

    ".... subsequently charged ....using a mobile phone."

    Quote from Police HQ " What do you mean he is the victim. Whats that got to do with anything? I've also got an idea. Its only one incident but if we charge him for using a mobile phone as well we can claim two detections. It also beefs up our 'using mobile phone whilst driving' figures due next week at the Home Office. Lets do him! "

  20. Anonymous Coward

    SOP for the Cops...

    Anyone who looks as if they are trying to undermine the cops monopoly gets busted. The original criminals are a far lower priority... Anonymous because, well, you don't need to ask...

  21. davenewman


    You do realise that this is in Castlewellan, a place where people leave bombs?

    Maybe the PSNI did have something else to do?

  22. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    And now we have Theresa May...

    ... telling the Police that they will have more opportunities to decide who gets charged for "minor crimes" instead of needing to check with prosecutors to see if there's actually a case to answer, let alone a chance of conviction.

    I can't see this one going wrong at all...

  23. kain preacher

    dumb cops

    Ok so the cops are dumb. But who was the prosecutor that thought it was a good idea to go to court on this.

    What's next ? You get stabbed and because the knife is still in you ,you get charged for having an illegal weapon .

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Charges they should have brought

    "Staffordshire bull terrier and pickaxe handle" - Posession of a dangerous weapon

    "started banging on the car" - Criminal Damage

    "He’s f****** lost it. He’s going to kill me" - Public Order Act Section 4 Fear or Provocation of Violence.

    "pickaxe handle was a toy for the dog". - Taking the piss

  25. J 3


    "A row quickly ensued, and Lesley Quirey "ran around to the back of his car, where there was a Staffordshire bull terrier and pickaxe handle and I immediately thought that something wasn’t right", as Brown explained."

    Ah, British understatement, gotta love it. Something wasn't right indeed.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Entry requirements

    I work with an ex-policeperson and this doesn't surprise me at all. It seems there is a minimum height and a maximum IQ for joining the police.

  27. Richard Scratcher

    Reminds me...

    Of an urban (it might have been suburban) myth about a man who phones the police to report a burglar trying to break into the building across the road. The police say they're too busy so he says he'll nip out and shoot them with his camera. Within minutes a squadron of coppers arrive on the scene and arrest him under section 44(2) of the Terrorism Act.

    1. Alan Newbury


      As a photographer...

      please send me a keyboard ASAP

  28. Alfred 2

    The police officers ...

    involved in this fiasco should be kicked out of the force, ang the pratt from the CPS who decided to bring charges sacked.

    As I understand it there are two thugs who have a case to answer wandering around free to intimdate anyone they choose. Presumably they feel they are immune from prosecution if they beat somone up in the future.

  29. Wkd

    Staffie = Dangourous Dog

    I guess that’s why they have the nickname Nanny Dog, Do the people here saying they are dangerous dogs have any experience with the breed? Or just what there subjected to in the media which obviously has no interest in sensationalizing stories about them.

    And no I don’t subscribe to no bad dogs just bad owners because each dog has its own personality and traits and some dogs (Any Breed) will have a tendency to attack other dogs or people, However a responsible owner would take steps to prevent this.

    My 16 years experience with the breed (I am on my 3rd staffie) show me yes they are VERY strong and potentially dangerous but so are most things in the hands of an idiot, a keyboard a car a knife just about anything can be dangerous in the wrong hands and it’s here we should be looking to control

    Rant Over

    1. dogged
      Thumb Up

      I dunno about "nanny dog"

      What they usually are is a smallish bundle of total mindless destruction that happens to love you very much, if you're not another dog.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Same kind of stuff south of the border, too

    Last year someone was stalking me, and got into my house at night. I rang the Gardai, who showed very little interest in turning up to remove until I asked "Is it OK if I push her out the door myself?" and then they said "We've got someone on the way!" (But the Garda who took the call then asked me to pass the phone to the stalker, and convinced her that, in terms of the trouble she could be in, it was really a very good idea to leave immediately, and she did then leave.)

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Fine for phone call

    The guy was driving and talking on the mobile phone at the same time. The least the judge could do is fine him for that (as he heard the recorded call as well...)

  32. elderlybloke

    Please me tell me

    if by "New Zealander" he actually meant a maori, who are very prone to violence at all times?

    I know because I live in New Zealand .

  33. Jasper 1

    About the dog

    I am the son of a vet, so I have met many dogs of differing temperments, but generally all pretty unhappy to be in the vets surgery. It is true that there are no bad dog BREEDS, only bad owners. Staffies typically have sweet natures, but they can be nasty, just like any other dog that has been specifically bred for hunting, fighting of guarding. It is worth pointing out that, just like humans, you can come across the odd dog that regardless of upbringing, is a total nutter. Red Setters for example can suffer from Rage Syndrome and trust me when you are trapped in a caravan with one you will know what your fear smells like.

    Personally I have only been bitten badly twice (which is not bad for 10 years hgelping my Dad in the surgery). The first was a miniature poodle which nearly took my damn face off and a cat which managed to bite through the meaty part of my hand prior to me encouraging it off with the aid of a handy desk. Never had a problem with the traditional "vicious" breeds. MAybe because you take extra care, but more probably because they are nobetter or worse than other dogs.

    This all said - I imagine any dog that has been shut in the boot of a car is probably not one that has been well raised. Personally I would probably chew someone's arm off if I had been shut in the boot.

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