BARRY magistrates have issued a bizarre DIVING ban to a schoolboy drink driver, according to reports in the Welsh media.
Joel Sebastien Maunder’s sentence for drink driving his family’s expensive lawnmower on a public road is almost as bizarre as the offence itself.
18-year-old Joe was more than double the legal drink-drive limit when cops caught him driving the 15mph ride-on mower a mile from his home.
The Welsh courts have now hit Stanwell Comprehensive School student Joel where it really hurts – by handing him a 17-month diving ban. And it couldn’t have come at a worse time for sixth-former Joel, from Dinas Powys.
Marine experts are heralding the country’s coastline as a ‘whale and dolphin bonanza’ after recent unusually calm weather conditions, but Joel is set to miss out on the sea life party thanks to his peculiar punishment.
Joel’s angry mother Esther, 42, said after the sentencing at Barry Magistrates Courts: “It has been very embarrassing for us and we don’t want to say anymore.
“But I will say, if the court hadn’t banned him from diving, I certainly would. He’s not Jacques Cousteau, he’s a very naughty boy.”
Barry Divers Club secretary Jimmy Flipper said Joel was not one to ‘drink and dive’, and that the teen would miss donning his wetsuit over the next year and a half.
He added: “He’ll be like a fish out of water over the coming months. What with Moby Dick being spotted off the Pembrokeshire coastline and everything, anybody with a wetsuit will want to be diving at the moment. Joel is really going to miss out.”
Cliff Benson of Sea Trust South and West Wales said the Welsh coastline was becoming a magnet for whales, dolphins and porpoises over recent weeks.
He said: “This weekend we saw 1,500 minke whales, we have only seen a total of 31 in all previous years of monthly research added together since 2004.
“That shows something is happening, the whales are coming home to Wales.”