Man caught speeding at 119mph on A14 near Bury St Edmunds blames ‘faulty speedometer’
Essex man Keith Smith was clocked at nearly double the speed limit at Higham and has been disqualified from driving for ten weeks.
A man caught speeding on the A14 at the “horrendously dangerous” speed of 119mph has blamed a “faulty” speedometer in his high-powered BMW M3.
Keith Smith told Bury St Edmunds Magistrates Court yesterday that he had no idea he was travelling at nearly double the 70mph speed limit at 8.35pm on July 15 last year.
Seven days after the incident, which happened at Higham, near Bury, Smith was caught on the A14 again and was given six points on his license last year.
The 28-year-old from The Chase, in Harlow, Essex, was due to go on trial at Bury Magistrates Court yesterday, but changed to a late guilty plea.
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Despite having nine points on his license already, he was disqualified for ten weeks and ordered to pay a total of £975 in fines and costs.
Smith said that he would “never” knowingly speed. Before he changed his plea, he told the magistrates: “I don’t believe I was speeding, I was definitely not intending to be speeding.
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“I don’t think I was speeding at that time (on July 15). I was having trouble with my car, possibly the traction control was faulty. I had to turn it (the traction control) off and drive it without.”
Smith said that even though he pleaded guilty to the July 22 offence, he actually felt he was not breaking the law on that occasion as well.
He submitted a report to the court from a BMW garage reportedly showing his car did have an “intermittent” fault with the speedometer. He said: “I have a report, but it doesn’t go it much detail about how much it could be out.”
After changing his plea, Smith, an emergency gas engineer, said he was “gutted” to be caught speeding. He said: “If I am disqualified, I will definitely lose my job. I drive a van for work.”
It emerged that Smith, who was representing himself yesterday, had previously engaged Freeman and Co Solicitors, owned by Nick Freeman, the self-styled ‘Mr Loophole’. He is known for defending celebrities in motoring cases.
Passing sentence, the magistrate David Broughton said: “It is a horrendously dangerous speed to travel on any road.”
He told Smith, who also said he cares for his mother who has cancer, that they did take account of his mitigating circumstances, but it was clear he was travelling at “excessive speed” and disqualification was the only option.