A MAN caught in a car in the early hours who claimed he’d been out to buy an electricity card was fined more than £1,000 for breaking covid rules.

Bryan Packham, 31, was found by police in the passenger seat of a car parked in Silman Close, Corsham, at around 1.25am on April 17 last year. Another man was sat in the driver’s seat, Swindon magistrates were told on Monday.

Asked what they were doing in the car in the early morning, they said they’d gone to the shops to top up the electricity.

Wiltshire Police prosecutor Mike Smith hinted the officers’ suspicious were raised, as there were no shops open in the nearby area at that late hour. “The male stated he’d been to Chippenham to a 24-hour garage.”

Packham told officers the electricity card did not work and they were looking to go back to the shop. Neither could explain why they were in the car in Silman Close. The road is around two-and-a-half miles from Packham’s home in Gastard.

He was not present at Swindon Magistrates’ Court on Monday afternoon to answer a single charge of breaching the coronavirus regulations by being out of the house without a reasonable excuse. JPs found the case proved in his absence. He was fined £1,100 and ordered to pay £220 in costs and surcharge.