A man from Swansea’s been jailed after using a laser jammer to stop a speed camera from working as he drove along a road near Brecon.
In June 2018, Go Safe Cymru was operating a speed camera on the A40 in Llanspyddid, but the officer using the equipment spotted that he couldn’t get a speed from a Mercedes owned by 65 year old Keith John.
The Casualty Reduction Officer was trained to recognise when a speed camera was being interfered with by countermeasure devices and recognising that the error message shown on the device was not normal, so reported the incident.
Upon investigation, two black rectangular objects could be seen fitted to the front of the vehicle, one on each side of the registration plate. Go Safe Cymru says the shape and location of these objects are “typical for the transmit/receive modules of a laser jammer”, which receives the infra-red light from the camera and determines how quickly it flashes the laser at the vehicle during the speed measurement. Once the flash rate is determined, usually within 3 or 4 flashes, the jammer then sends very bright flashes of infra-red light back to the camera that are arranged to confuse it.
The video analysis confirmed that the device seen attached to the vehicle, and the reaction of the camera confirmed that there was a laser jammer device fitted to the car and it had prevented the speed reading. The camera could be seen to measure the speed of a car immediately before and immediately after the attempt to measure the Mercedes so it was obvious that the camera was working correctly at the time.
Go Safe Cymru says Police visited the home of Mr John to ascertain what the device was on the front of his vehicle. While at the property, the officers noted that a small van and a VW Polo had the same devices fitted to them. Further enquiries into vehicles registered at the address discovered two other VW Polo cars, these were normally used by Mr John’s wife and daughters.
All five vehicles were seized, and in total, six laser jammer systems were recovered from the vehicles. The Vauxhall van had two separate laser jamming systems and a radar and laser warning device fitted to it
Mr John was charged with Perverting the Course of Justice, pleading not guilty, and during his trial his defence was that the laser jammer was a parking sensor and was not bought as a laser jamming system, he didn’t drive his vehicle at a speed in excess of 60 mph, because his vehicle was not being driven at excess speed there was no need to have the jammer set to jam, and that it was set to “position 1, parking sensor”, not “position 3, the jamming mode”.
At the end of the trial the jury were apparently not convinced by Mr John’s defence, returning a guilty verdict.
On 23 July the Judge sentenced Mr John to 8 months imprisonment for perverting the course of justice.
(Picture – Go Safe Cymru)