Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I take my hat off to... Geoff Dornan

Today I take my hat off to... Geoff Dornan!

Geoff Dornan is a 71 year old resident of Ormskirk in Lancashire.

Yesterday, Geoff was, sadly, found guilty on two counts... of dangerous skating!!!

At North Sefton Magistrates yesterday, the court was shown CCTV footage of Geoff rollerblading down the main street of Southport in Merseyside.

An earlier hearing this month had been adjourned awaiting further CCTV evidence but unfortunately yesterday, the court was shown the CCTV pictures of the sprightly septuagenerian skating through Chapel Street, the main shopping centre of Southport and he was convicted. He was found guilty on two counts of breaching a by-law but has since lodged an appeal.

Reporting on the case, the Mail Online (yes I know... I do read it sometimes!) said that whilst most active pensioners prefer a brisk walk in the open air as a way of taking some exercise, Geoff prefers to travel a little faster, which is the reason why he can regulary be seen tearing around on a pair of roller blades! He said he likes to rollerblade to keep fit.

Unfortunately for him... not everyone agreed and his life in the fast lane landed the 71-year-old daredevil in trouble with the law and he was hauled before the courts after Sefton Council said his rollerblading was a nuisance and a danger to the public.

Yesterday the retired youth worker was dismayed after magistrates found him guilty of endangering pedestrians by rollerblading in a busy town centre and handed a fine of £300 and court costs of almost £1,800.

Last night the father-of-three vowed to take the case to appeal. Outside court, he said:

"Because I am on skates I'm more manoeuvrable than somebody in shoes.

The last time I was bumped into by somebody else I was in shoes. I'm not saying things can't go wrong. I don't accept this premise that skating is inherently dangerous.

I'm deeply disappointed but I accept the verdicts. Having said that, I intend to appeal. In seven-and-a-half years I have not harmed anyone at all!"

Geoff told the court he was always very careful to avoid pedestrians and only rollerbladed to keep up his general level of fitness.

Following his conviction yesterday, Geoff told reporters his health had suffered since his skates were confiscated.

You can see more reaction from Geoff here.

I take my hat off to Geoff Dornan... would that we all had his spirit and fitness at his age!

Anyone who wants to support Geoff Dornan (1,400 of you already do... yaay!) can do so on this Facebook group: Support Geoff Dornan

Good on yer mate! Sefton Council (and all who found cause for complaint) must be a sad bunch!


Anonymous said...

Whoopee doo from across the pond, to Geoff!! I'm 75, been skating since FDR was president, I rollerblade 2 hrs a day and am happy to be Geoff's groupie. HOWEVER - Geoff darlin, PLEEZE wear a helmet.