A man is refusing to remove the words “Shower of bastards!” from the back of his truck, despite police warnings. Alan Clark, 68, from Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, has twice been contacted by the police because of the message he has scrawled on his vehicle. Written as a slur towards his car insurance company, Mr Clark, who works as a gardener, says the famous Father Ted quote, “Shower of bastards”, is being well-received by the community. “I get about 30 to 40 people a week giving me the thumbs up, and lots of people stopping to ask for my picture,” he said.
“The sign isn’t going anywhere until Aviva give me back my money and apologise. William Shakespeare used the word bastard hundreds of times in his writings, in every implied sense.
Perhaps the police would like to ban these plays being performed in public?”
Mr Clark was visited by a police officer and a community officer on August 19. He was issued a formal warning and told to remove the sign or he would be fined for a public order offence.
He said unless they serve him a summons for a magistrates court, the message will remain on the van.
He said: “These two officers disturbed me during my dinner. I told them the sign wasn’t going anywhere and that I thought convicting people without a trial ended in 1215 when we created the Magna Carta.”
Mr Clark bought insurance from Aviva in November. But in January, he received a letter saying his policy was cancelled four weeks earlier.
The company said he had lied about his no claims bonus and unless he paid an extra £900 they would not reinstate his policy.
But Mr Clark said his previous car insurers had not told him it paid money to a claimant and he did not feel he should be punished for this.
Olivia Finucane, speaking on behalf of Hertfordshire Police, said: “Mr Clark was visited on August 19 and given a formal warning.
“It is a public offence because the sign is causing alarm and distress to people. He was given ten days to remove the sign or we will return and fine him.”
Aviva said it cancelled Mr Clark’s policy because he failed to provide proof of his no claims discount.
It said they sent him an email and letter explaining that his policy would be cancelled.
Speaking on behalf of Aviva, Erik Nelson said: “Mr Clarke’s policy was cancelled as he did not make us aware of two claims he was at fault for when he was with a previous insurer.
We have offered to revisit this and update our records accordingly if it was found the claims were recorded incorrectly.
Until we hear differently from his broker, we are correct in recording the claims as at fault and cancelling his policy due to non-disclosure.”