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Muffin to see your honour! Van driver ate chocolate chip muffin at the wheel

PUBLISHED: 16:12 25 March 2019 | UPDATED: 07:51 26 March 2019

Jose Monteiro Bicas leaving Norwich Magistrates Court. Photo: Archant

Jose Monteiro Bicas leaving Norwich Magistrates Court. Photo: Archant

Archant

A man has appeared in court after he was spotted by police trying to eat a chocolate chip muffin while driving on the A11.

Jose Monteiro Bicas leaving Norwich Magistrates Court. Photo: ArchantJose Monteiro Bicas leaving Norwich Magistrates Court. Photo: Archant

Jose Monteiro Bicas, 55, was driving his Mercedes Sprinter van at about 8.10am on the A11 at Wymondham when it veered across the road.

Norwich Magistrates Court heard the van was seen to veer towards the nearside rumble strips before veering to the offside, causing another vehicle to take avoiding action.

After police moved alongside the van officers said the defendant was holding a muffin in his left hand while using his right hand to remove the muffin case.

Mel Read, prosecuting, said: “He was said not to be in proper control due to having a muffin or cake and trying to get it out of the wrapper.”

The defendant, who is Portuguese and a professional driver, previously denied being a driver not in a position to have proper control on September 3 last year.

But Monteiro Bicas, of Anne Bartholomew Drive, Thetford, did admit the offence when he appeared in court on Monday (March 25).

However the defendant, who represented himself and brought a cake with him to court, insisted that he did not have both hands off the wheel.

Speaking through an interpreter, he said: “On that day I was eating a cake but I didn’t lose control of the vehicle.”

He said the road had a lot of potholes and he was driving around them which is why his van appeared to swerve.

The defendant told the court he had been delivering newspapers “through the night” and had been eating when police saw him.

He said: “I was eating a cake - the same as the one I showed you - for the simple reason that at the time I was feeling quite weak.”

He said the cake he was eating had chocolate chips in it but again insisted that he had “full control of the vehicle”.

The defendant also admitted two offences of using a vehicle with insufficient tread, of less than 1.6mm, in the same date.

He told the court that he had been to the garage and had four new tyres for the vehicle although they had not been fitted at the time he was stopped.

For being a driver not in proper control of the vehicle, the defendant was fined £50.

While for the two tyres offences he had his licence endorsed with three penalty points, was fined £233, ordered to pay £100 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

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