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Owner of van with spiked wing mirror claims it is to deter vandals, not harm cyclists

“I just hope that if one of the little b******s tries to take my wing mirror again they’ll sever their hand,” says Jonathan Tomney

The ​owner of a van in Cheadle, Greater Manchester, that was pictured earlier this week with spikes protruding from its nearside wing mirror has claimed that he made the improvised modification to deter vandals.

As we reported earlier this week, the vehicle, carrying the livery of a painting and decorating firm, was reported to a “sceptical” call handler at Greater Manchester Police by Twitter user OneAdultSwim1, who had also spotted two other vehicles in the area with similar spikes on the wing mirror.

> Car wing mirrors studded with spikes reported to Greater Manchester Police

Responding to the picture he tweeted, Surrey Police Roads Policing Unit said that it constituted an arrestable offence for possession of an offensive weapon.

According to the website Lad Bible the vehicle’s owner claims that he places the spikes on the vehicle while it is parked up over the weekend to prevent the wing mirror from being vandalised.

Jonathan Tomney, aged 41, said: “I’m sick to death of my property being vandalised.

“Every Saturday night when I park the van up somewhere I put the spikes on.

“I only put it on over the weekends to stop my property from being vandalised.”

“I just hope that if one of the little b******s tries to take my wing mirror again they’ll sever their hand,” he added.

OneAdultSwim1 originally posted to Twitter on Sunday, saying that there “Seems to be a growing trend in my area of adding crude spikes to the passenger side wing mirror … usually in the form of large screws through the mirror casing.

“Spotted one, and another and a third today all on different vehicles. I'm going to get a picture next time. Be warned.”

He subsequently posted a picture of it on Monday evening and, prompted by other Twitter users, many of whom wondered if the device was targeted at cyclists, reported it to police on Tuesday morning.

While the owner of the van insists the wing mirror is only covered with spikes when parked at the weekend, the other two vehicles spotted with similar devices were both in moving traffic.

Speaking to road.cc on Tuesday, OneAdultSwim1 said: “Last week I've seen three vehicles with this modification. The first two I saw were in the same line of traffic a few cars apart on Station Road in Cheadle, in the middle of last week.

“They were both rugged-looking vehicles with intermediate off-road tyres and air intake rams, rumbling down the small high street here.

“However the image I posted is on the side of liveried van (painter and decorator) which is also in the Cheadle area, I noticed this on Sunday, went past again yesterday and gave them a close-up inspection, just to check they weren’t rubber or anything.”

He reported the van to police on the non-emergency number 101 to what he described as “a very sceptical call handler.”

He continued: “I was reluctant to post as might give others ideas, but decided to post in the end after consideration.

“I also asked during the call if there was any way I could pass on the images but they don’t have that facility. The report was made about 08:30 and the lady said she would ‘pass it on’.”

We approached Greater Manchester Police for a comment on Tuesday but have not received a reply from them.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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48 comments

Avatar
Crippledbiker | 2 years ago
3 likes

Bit counter productive, really - I wouldn't take the mirror or D-lock it if it weren't, you know, covered in spikes.

I see it, I'm smashing it off.

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Jenova20 replied to Crippledbiker | 2 years ago
0 likes

It's tempting to me too to be honest, and that's surprising to me as i'm not a violent person.

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Si2 | 2 years ago
7 likes

Door mirrors are tested specifically for safety when homologated. Legally there can be no projections on the outer surface that are less than 2.5mm radius. This is a dangerous modification to a safety device. Yeah, I do work for a company that makes door mirrors  1

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Si2 | 2 years ago
3 likes
Si2 wrote:

Door mirrors are tested specifically for safety when homologated. Legally there can be no projections on the outer surface that are less than 2.5mm radius. This is a dangerous modification to a safety device. Yeah, I do work for a company that makes door mirrors  1

I could see myself doing that kind of job

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HoarseMann replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
3 likes

I've heard those who make that career change never look back.

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Captain Badger replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
1 like
HoarseMann wrote:

I've heard those who make that career change never look back.

definitely something you should look into 

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HoarseMann replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
1 like
Captain Badger wrote:

definitely something you should look into 

well, I do need to take a cold hard look at myself  3

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wycombewheeler replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
1 like
HoarseMann wrote:

I've heard those who make that career change never look back.

people who make mirrors never look back?

I suppose "don't get high on your own supply!" is a thing

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Jenova20 replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
0 likes
HoarseMann wrote:

I've heard those who make that career change never look back.

They're not using their own product?

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Velo-drone | 2 years ago
3 likes

Doesn't matter, it is still illegal and he will still be liable if someone - even a vandal - is injured by it.

Proper idiot.

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brooksby replied to Velo-drone | 2 years ago
4 likes

Of course, when he talks about 'vandals', what he actually means are people who are trying to get past where he's parked on the footway and have folded his mirror back...

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Owd Big 'Ead | 2 years ago
2 likes

That's a poorly conceived offensive weapon.
Regardless of whether its aimed at pedestrians or cyclists whoever owns it needs to have a long hard look at themselves.
I'll assume, being a tradesman that he's a regular pavement parker which might give him some defence, however considering its only one mirror on the side closest to where cyclists will be, one has to assume that it's a premeditated attempt to cause injury.
This isn't something that can be removed easily so his measly words mean nothing.
Surely this is modifying his vehicle. I'd expect it invalidates his insurance which would put him up shit-creek should he actually hit a cyclist with it.

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Robert Hardy replied to Owd Big 'Ead | 2 years ago
2 likes

Assuming he has insurance or hasn't already invalidated it for non disclosure of other issues. Can't quite see your point about pavement parking, unless it is satirical, an offence, if not in a permitted zone, ripping up the arm of a wheel chair user or child carer struggling past seems to be just as evil an intent as maiming cyclists.

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Crippledbiker replied to Robert Hardy | 2 years ago
2 likes

He is, in fact, uninsured.

Also no MOT!

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SteveSlow | 2 years ago
4 likes

Wondering if the van gets parked on the pavement and a pedestrian (possiably with a pram/wheelchair) folds the mirror in to get past. seen it done (ahem...). Driver fed up of putting it straight. Or is driver just a violent thug? Old Bill needs to step in.

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HoarseMann replied to SteveSlow | 2 years ago
2 likes

well, looking at streetview, it's his neighbour who's the worst offender when it comes to pavement parking...

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Gus T replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
2 likes
HoarseMann wrote:

well, looking at streetview, it's his neighbour who's the worst offender when it comes to pavement parking...

Looking at this picture, it appears to me that they could avoid any damage by using their nice big drives or am I missing something.

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brooksby replied to Gus T | 2 years ago
1 like
Gus T wrote:
HoarseMann wrote:

well, looking at streetview, it's his neighbour who's the worst offender when it comes to pavement parking...

Looking at this picture, it appears to me that they could avoid any damage by using their nice big drives or am I missing something.

Takes more time and effort to park on their private property, so they just leave their car in the public space instead...

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Pilot Pete replied to SteveSlow | 2 years ago
7 likes

Do you honestly think he removes the spikes before driving? Every Monday morning? He's talking shit trying to make out he doesn't drive around with it like that, which he clearly does.

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Aberdeencyclist | 2 years ago
6 likes

No chance he's notified this to his insurer . Potentially no insurance . Doesn't matter if he's parked, it's on the public road ( and pavement)
Police need to dig deeper

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cidermart | 2 years ago
4 likes

This has to be outright criminal intent with the statements made by the owner to harm people??? Best get yourself a lawyer.

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IanMSpencer | 2 years ago
13 likes

It is considered inappropriate to put spikes and broken glass on property walls and such-like to act as a burglary deterent, so this is no different. In fact it is worse, because it is so easy for anyone to bump into and do serious harm to themselves. Hands up all those who have never accidentally walked into a wing mirror? And that's before we get onto those with visual disabilities.

So it is just wrong, regardless of cyclists.

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wycombewheeler replied to IanMSpencer | 2 years ago
8 likes
IanMSpencer wrote:

It is considered inappropriate to put spikes and broken glass on property walls and such-like to act as a burglary deterent, .

This is true, which is why climbing roses are your friend.

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jh2727 replied to IanMSpencer | 2 years ago
1 like

Broken glass on top of a wall is considered "man trap" - because someone is only likely to become aware of it when they are injured. Barbed wire and razor wire seem to be legal - because the danger is plain to see - when it is contained in a private property.

Given that it is designed to cause injury, it is an offensive weapon, so possesing it in a public place (without a reasonable excuse or lawfull authority) is offence.

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fenix replied to jh2727 | 2 years ago
1 like

There is an old house that I sometimes walk past with the dog - it wouldn't be out of place on Scooby Doo.  Hugely overgrown grounds and rolls and rolls of razor wire all through the place. I mean hardly even unwound.

I do worry for the mental health of someone who thinks they need to live like this. 

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eburtthebike | 2 years ago
5 likes

Maybe if his mirror gets smashed off every weekend, it's a disgruntled ex-customer taking revenge for the crappy decorating he did?

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kraut replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
11 likes

Maybe he parks it somewhere where it's blocking the footpath?

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Gustave replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
2 likes

Can't be that, he's named himself and googling his name brings up very positive reviews on Checkatrade.com

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eburtthebike replied to Gustave | 2 years ago
3 likes
Gustave wrote:

Can't be that, he's named himself and googling his name brings up very positive reviews on Checkatrade.com

Just like the builder I employed to remove my airing cupboard, who ripped holes in the plaster and pulled out a pipe, flooding the house?  He had wonderful reviews; all written by himself.

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HoarseMann | 2 years ago
12 likes

Carrier bag. Zip-tie. Can of expanding foam. Threat neutralised!

Probably a bit much. The mischievous in me is sorely tempted to impale various objects on it though. Possibly starting with a cheap supermarket chicken. But I'm too old for those sort of antics, best left to a student.

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