Rogue Somerset paraglider David Hoare has been prosecuted and fined nearly £3,000 for flying lower than legal limits and nearly hitting a father and son on a beach in Lyme Regis, Dorset.
Hoare, 67, is known to locals for similar offences committed across the south west of England, including twice trying to fly into the world-famous Glastonbury Festival.
Magistrates determined that Hoare had flown dangerously after he failed to attend court and offered no mitigating evidence last week.
Hoare has been described by the local flying communities as ‘an absolute public nusiance [who] dirties the name of handgliders’ and ‘an oxygen thief’.
‘It makes you want to throw pebbles at him,’ said a local gliding coach.
David Hoare pictured in 2016, branded as an ‘oxygen thief’ by the gliding community in Dorset after his antics along Lyme Regis beach on April 15, 2022
The aviating ‘pariah’ was reportedly fined nearly £3,000 by the court, guilty on two counts of flying an aircraft at lower than 500ft, in breach of the Standardised European Rules of Air.
Last week, the court reviewed evidence of Hoare flying ‘dangerously close’ to Lyme Regis beach on 15 April 2022.
A witness, who had been walking with his one-year-old son when Hoare swept by, said: ‘As he got very close to me I had to turn away a bit and crouch down to avoid him.
‘I was very frightened, particularly for my son. He was only about four metres away from me.’
Judges took into account Hoare’s previous convictions for similar offences when issuing the fine.
In total, he was fined £2,000 along with costs of £750 and a victim surcharge of £190.
He was previously fined £400 by Taunton Magistrates’ Court and in 2020 was banned from flying any aircraft in an excluded zone in Somerset including Burnham-on-Sea, Berrow, Brean and Brean Down.
Alan Bennett, presiding chairman, said: ‘We have considered all of the evidence and made note of Mr Hoare’s previous convictions for a number of similar offences over a period of years.’
The bench believed that it was a deliberate act which warranted a considerable fine.
The seafront at Lyme Regis. How low can you go… An aviating ‘pariah’ with a history of flying dangerously has been fined again after gliding lower than 500ft along a busy beach
Sean Staines, the chairman of the Wessex Hang Gliding Club, described Hoare as a ‘pariah’.
He said: ‘He is generally regarded as someone who brings us all into disrepute.
‘He is something of a pariah that damages the respectable reputations of the other pilots in the area.’
Trevor Lee, 72, a coach at Wessex Hang Gliding Club, said: ‘I’ve had the misfortune of meeting him when he came to Weymouth and I told him that if he even thought about launching we would take his glider.
‘He promptly put it back in his van and drove off.
‘He is an absolute public nuisance and he dirties the name of hangliders.
‘I think he should be locked up, he’s an oxygen thief.
‘I’ve been on the beach with my wife at Abbotsbury and seen him gliding too low and you immediately know that it’s him.
‘It makes you want to throw pebbles at him. He just wants to show off and it’s not safe.’
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