Rollerblading Pensioner guilty

March 17, 2009

criminal law



Pensioner, Geoffrey Dornan (71, from Ormskirk) has been found guilty of two counts of breaking a council byelaw by skating along the pavement on two occasions in Southport, Merseyside in October 2008.  The byelaw states that: no person shall skate, slide or ride on rollers, skateboards or other self-propelled vehicles in such a manner as to cause danger or annoyance”.


Although this byelaw does not seem to be an absolute prohibition on skating, Sefton MBC brought a case against Mr Dornan at North Sefton Magistates’ Court after he was caught on CCTV rollerblading at ‘an excessive speed’ around the busy shopping centre. Although Mr Dornan denied causing any annoyance or danger to the public, and indeed never made contact with any other pedestrian, the court held that the manner of the skating put pedestrians at risk and exposed them to harm.

A fine of £300 and costs of £1,792 were “suspended” by the Court after Dornan gave notice of an appeal to the Crown Court.

A video of Mr Dornan was quickly made after the court case by several news organisations. What’s interesting about the case is Mr Dornan’s age. Watch the video and see if you would still have the same opinion, if he had been 15yrs old instead of 71?


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About Kris

Associate Professor in Sports Law, Staffordshire University; British Gymnastics Senior Coach

View all posts by Kris

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