THE former Chief Constable of North Wales Police, renowned for his no-nonsence stance on speeding motorists, has been given a ticket for having an out-of-date tax disc.
Richard Brunstrom, who was nicknamed the “mad mullah of the traffic Taliban” during his spell as North Wales Police Chief Constable, was caught out while holidaying in New Zealand.
He was fined $200 – about £100 – after he displayed an out-of-date tax disc on a car he bought in Auckland.
Mr Brunstrom appealed against the fine saying he thought the date on the disc was the start date, not the expiry date.
But his appeal was rejected by the New Zealand authorities.
Mr Brunstrom, who is currently on a round-the-world yachting trip with his wife Alison on his £400,00 56ft Halberg Rassy 53 cruising yacht, posted a photograph of the expired tax disc on his public internet diary.
He wrote: “Getting a $200 ticket on a back street in Auckland at half past eleven at night. Ouch!
“Turns out that the date is the expiry date. We thought it was the commencement of our new MOT equivalent. We found our error the hard way.
“We appealed, ignorance of the law, citing the fact that it was an offence to sell us a car without a valid licence, we’re just visitors, we’ve paid the back tax etc, using their very efficient online system. No dice.
“But at $200 a time we won’t be reoffending, that’s for sure.”
Mr Brunstrom courted controversy a number of times during his tenure as Chief Constable between 2001 and 2009 due to his focus on speeding drivers.
He was repeatedly accused of being “obsessed” with speeding during his time in office and was outspoken in his support for the use of speed cameras.
In 2007 he was tasered by one of his own officers in a publicity stunt to show his support for police use of the weapon which he described as “not pleasant”.
Also in 2007 he broke into his own police headquarters, initially claiming it was to show how the lax security was at the Colwyn Bay offices, but it later emerged that his key fob had broken and he couldn’t get into the building.