A VAN driver who left a parking officer 'shaken' after subjecting him to threats and abuse in Knutsford, has been fined.

Steven Williamson, of The Pines, Wythenshawe, pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive, insulting words and behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress when he appeared at Stockport Magistrates Court on Monday, June 6.

The 42-year-old's abusive and threatening behaviour was captured on a bodycam being worn by the Cheshire East Council parking officer.

Knutsford Guardian: Williamson had parked on double yellow lines to go and get a sandwichWilliamson had parked on double yellow lines to go and get a sandwich

The incident took place on December 22, 2021, when Williamson was in Canute Square in the town. His behaviour was witnessed by a passerby and staff from a café.

Williamson had parked his van on double yellow lines and halfway on the pavement close to a busy roundabout, while he went to buy food at a nearby sandwich shop.

The abuse began when he returned to his van just as the parking officer was about to issue the parking ticket.

Knutsford Guardian: Williamson abused the parking officer when he got back to his vanWilliamson abused the parking officer when he got back to his van

Williamson launched into a tirade of abuse, using foul and threatening language. He started to drive off but then stopped and got out of his vehicle at the junction. He then continued to berate the civil enforcement officer in an aggressive manner. The whole incident lasted several minutes.

Williamson was fined £120, with court and prosecution costs totalling £119.

The maximum sentence is six months imprisonment. Williamson had nothing to say in court.

Councillor Craig Browne, Cheshire East Council deputy leader and chair of the highways and transport committee, said: "Our civil enforcement officers carry out an excellent and important job on behalf of our law-abiding residents and should not have to tolerate this kind of abuse and behaviour.

"This was a shocking case of abuse and, fortunately, the police, armed with the bodycam footage from our officer, were able to secure a successful prosecution.

"I am more than a little disappointed with the level of the fine, which does not appear to match the severity of the incident."

Knutsford Guardian: Williamson continued the tirade for several minutesWilliamson continued the tirade for several minutes

Cllr Browne continued: "We will not tolerate abuse of our staff, whether they are out and about in our towns and villages carrying out their work, or in council offices in public-facing roles.

"I would like to thank Cheshire Police for taking this case to court and securing a successful outcome.

"Sadly, this is not the worst case of abuse our civil enforcement officers experience. Some have been physically assaulted, kicked and punched.

"This prosecution sends out a message that we will report these incidents to the police and pursue them through the courts."

Knutsford Guardian: The shocking footage was captured on a bodycamThe shocking footage was captured on a bodycam

The parking officer, who is remaining anonymous, said: "We get this sort of thing every day, but this fellow had crossed the line, which is why I went to the police with the camera footage.

"I was pretty shaken up by it. It was the third incident that morning and only a few days before Christmas, but I am pleased with the outcome in court and hope this sends out a message that we have a job to do like everyone else.

"I would also like to thank the member of the public who offered to stay with me until Williamson had left the scene altogether."