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Man with prosthetic arm fined for using a mobile

31-year-old charged over mobile phone use even though he is unable to use one of his arms.

31-year-old Russell Cameron was taken to court after police caught him operating a mobile phone with his right hand – even though his right arm is false. Mr Cameron wears a prosthetic limb while driving because he was born without a right forearm.

The long arm of the law handed him a £60 fine for the crime. The two police officers, who pulled Mr Cameron over in Greenock in Scotland in March 2013, claim they saw him using his right thumb. The father-of-five denied the charges.

Mr Cameron chose not to tell police he had a prosthetic limb in case they changed their story. “If they were accusing me when I was totally innocent, I wanted to know exactly what they thought they saw,” he told the Daily Record.

“I didn’t want to give them a chance to see it was impossible to use my right hand, then change the story to suit the charge and say it was my left. I had to hire a lawyer, who said it would never get to trial, given the stupidity of it.”

Even after producing a doctor’s letter to prove his right arm is, in fact, fake the case still made it to trial because the prosecutors felt the police statements needed to be heard.

Police officers Colin Taylor and Lewis Goldbourn both insisted in court it was the right arm they saw operating a mobile phone. Ronnie Simpson, defending, told Mr Cameron to roll up his right sleeve.

“You should have seen the policeman’s face,” Mr Cameron commented. “He tried to stick to his guns but I’d like to see him use his phone with my artificial hand. I doubt he’d have much joy.” Eventually the case was thrown out.

Mr Cameron said he was concerned for other motorists battling against police testimony. “I hate to think there are lots of people who may be getting stitched up because they can’t fall back on such a strong defence. If the police stick to their story you’re in a tough spot,” he added.


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