By Craig McDonald
A BUSINESSMAN has been fined by cops for blowing his nose in a car.
Dad-of-two Michael Mancini pulled out a tissue while he was stuck in stationary traffic – with his handbrake on.
But he was given a £60 fixed penalty notice for “not being in control of his vehicle”.
The cop who handed out the ticket was PC Stuart Gray – dubbed PC Shiny Buttons for his zealous approach to the job.
He was exposed last year after he issued a £50 fixed penalty to a man who accidentally dropped a £10 note in the street.
Last night, Michael, 39, who’s never been in trouble with police, said: “I was in total shock. I was stuck in traffic with the handbrake on and my nose was running.
“It’s beyond a disgrace.
“Surely it would have been more dangerous to drive with a blocked nose?”
The dad has refused to pay the fine and now faces a criminal trial later in the year.
Michael, of Prestwick, Ayrshire, was driving in nearby Ayr and suffering from a runny nose when he got stuck in the traffic jam.
He said: “I needed to blow my nose so I put my handbrake on and took the car out of gear.
“I noticed four police officers standing around near the Wallace Tower but I didn’t think anything of it. Then one of them waved me over.
“I still had the tissue in my hand and was totally stunned when he said I was getting a fixed penalty notice for not being in control of my car.”
Michael said: “I thought it was some kind of Beadle’s About moment – a wind-up. The traffic was at a complete standstill and I had my handbrake on.
“I tried to explain that to the officer but he wouldn’t listen.”
Michael, who runs a furniture restoration business with his brother Philip, has taken legal advice on the matter which he says has left him “totally baffled”.
His lawyer, Peter Lockhart, has written to the procurator fiscal saying it “beggars belief ” Michael is being prosecuted.
But prosecutors are adamant they will put Michael through a trial at Ayr District Court.
Michael said: “I’m really angry. I made sure it was safe to blow my nose. It’s doubtful I’ll get legal aid so this could potentially cost me thousands in legal fees.
“But I won’t be paying the fixed penalty.”
A police spokeswoman confirmed: “A 39-year-old man is the subject of a report to the procurator fiscal in connect ion with an alleged traffic offence on October 26.”
The incident happened just after PC Gray doled out a £50 fine for littering to unemployed Stewart Smith, who accidentally dropped a tenner out his pocket as he left a shop.
Last night, a source said: “Total nonsense like this is the very opposite of good policing. This officer is known as PC Shiny Buttons for his lack of a common sense approach to the job.
“It is supposed to be about serving and protecting the public – not embarking on some petty power trip like this appears to be.”