A van driver who was caught making a phone call while at the wheel is facing a whopping £1654 court bill.
Wigan and Leigh magistrates heard that Ionel Hornea was seen ringing while driving on the approach road to Wallgate railway station in the town centre on April 16.
The 30-year-old of Victoria Apartments, Wallgate, Wigan, initially denied the charge and one of obstructing a police officer in the executiion of his duty, but then, after the best part of a year, changed his plea to guilty this week for the motoring offence.
The obstruction charge was eventually dismissed after no evidence was offered.
But the bench came down hard on Hornea for the driving infringement and for denying it for so long.
He was initially fined £450 and ordered to pay a £45 victim surcharge and £500 in court costs.
But then the justices announced that further information had come to light about Hornea’s means and so they redetermined the amounts due so that he now must pay a fine of £1,050 and the surcharge increased to £104.
Hornea was also banned from the road for 18 months.
National figures show drivers who use mobile phones at the wheel are four times more likely to be in a collision.
Anyone who is caught driving while using mobile phone faces the prospect of a £200 fine and six penalty points on their licence, as well as an increase in their car insurance premium.