Who doesn’t want to be like 007? He drives an Aston and can pull some pretty spectacular stunts. This driver, however, took his James Bond antics to an embarrassing new level.
Simon Chaplin, 62, tried escape from a pursuing police car in Pembrokeshire by activating a smokescreen to obscure the officer’s view.
The mechanism is activated by flicking a switch on the dash, which then pumps out “colossal” amounts of white smoke from the exhaust.
This 007-style prank would have looked a little more tasteful, if Chaplin’s choice of car hadn’t been a Peugeot 309.
The policeman gave chase for five miles before catching up with the 309 as it turned into a farmyard in the village of Crundale, where Chaplin was arrested.
According to the Daily Express, farmer Chaplin, of Whitland, had a bucket of diesel behind the passenger seat, which connected to the exhaust via a pump and pipe – this mechanism caused the hot exhaust to generate clouds of smoke into the path of the police car.
PC Dafydd Birch told Swansea Crown Court that he originally wanted to stop the vehicle because of a number plate that “didn’t look right”.
He turned around on the B4329 near Haverfordwest, west Wales, and was suddenly submerged in smoke as Chaplin accelerated away.
Chaplin said he was alarmed when PC Birch turned on his blues and twos, causing him to flee the scene and deploy the smoke.
PC Birch said: "There was a vast amount of dense smoke. It completely obscured the road.”
Chaplin was also concealing another 007 weapon: a replica 9mm Beretta handgun.
He was convicted of causing a danger to other road users but cleared of possessing an imitation firearm in a public place.
Chaplin claimed that his smoky mechanism was designed to get rid of moles. But, as pointed out by prosecutor James Hartson, they live underground.
He was granted bail and warned he could face jail.