Painter given £30 fine for smoking 'at work' his own van

For painter and decorator Gordon Williams, his van is simply a means of getting from A to B.

But council officials chose to give the vehicle a more lofty status.

When they spotted him behind the wheel with a cigarette, they handed him an on-the-spot fine of £30 - for smoking in his place of work.

Mr Williams, 58 and self-employed, had finished work for the day and was driving to the shops to buy some teabags when the council official pulled him over.

'I was told that because my van is my place of work I had broken the smoking laws.

'I was dumbfounded - the van is only insured for private use and to get me to and from work.

'It's not my place of work - I decorate houses not vans.'