A motorist had a fine imposed for having excessively tinted windows on his car cut on Thursdayafter a senior appeal judge admitted he did not realise there was such an offence.

Scott McLachlan was stopped by police in Paisley, Renfrewshire, and charged after they checked his vehicle.

He was fined £200 for the darkened windows and a further £850 for a vehicle licence offence at Paisley District Court.

He admitted displaying the wrong tax disc on the car at Canal Street, Paisley, on October 19 in 2005.

He also pled guilty to using the vehicle in which windows were tinted in excess of the prescribed limit.

McLachlan, 41, of Alice Street, Paisley, appealled against the penalty imposed on him claiming that it was excessive.

Defence solicitor advocate Ann Ogg told appeal judges that the windscreen and a front passenger window were found not to comply with vehicle construction and use regulations.

Lord Johnston said: "I confess I had no idea that was a crime. You see vehicles driving around with tinted windows all over the place."

Miss Ogg told the Justiciary Appeal Court in Edinburgh: "Apparently it is a matter of degree."

She said McLachlan had just bought the car and had not paid much attention to the tax disc on the vehicle, but went to get a new one after he was stopped by the police.

He was unaware that the windows contravened the legislation.

Lord Johnston, who heard the sentence appeal with Temporary judge Gordon Nicholson QC, said they regarded the fines as 'way over the top'.

He said: "We are satisfied that the justices have misdirected themselves and in the circumstances will quash both fines."

They imposed a £50 fine for the tinted windows offences and £150 for the tax disc, payable at £2.50 a week.

Lord Johnston pointed out that if the original penalty of pounds 1050 had been allowed to stand it would have taken about seven years to pay it off.