Mechanic keeps licence despite clocking 68mph on 30mph stretch of road
PUBLISHED: 16:08 07 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:55 07 February 2020
An AA mechanic has avoided losing his driving licence despite travelling at more than twice the speed limit on a Suffolk road.
Scott Stewart's Ford Focus was recorded travelling at 68mph along a 30mph stretch of road near his Mildenhall home.
The 32-year-old, of Woodlands Way, initially admitted the offence by post in December, but was summonsed to Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Friday because the speed was deemed too high to be dealt with by way of single justice procedure notice.
Prosecutor Alex Morrison said Stewart's speed was clocked on a laser detection device in Brandon Road, where the 30mph limit was signified by street lighting placed at less than 200 yard intervals.
He said Stewart already had three points on his licence for speeding, in July 2017, when the offence took place just before noon on September 14 last year.
Declan Gallagher, mitigating, described the stretch of road as open and straight, with any development set right back from the highway.
"There's nothing opening onto the road; there were no pedestrians, no traffic, nothing whatsoever," he added.
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Mr Gallagher said Stewart was driving a fairly powerful car, which quickly accelerated from an almost standing start upon entering the road - reaching an excessive speed and decelerating with equal rapidity before turning into Woodlands Way.
He said the consequences of disqualification from driving, for a man without criminal conviction, would be disproportionate to the offence.
He told the court the matter had been brought to the attention of Stewart's managers, who had made it clear that disqualification would lead to dismissal on the grounds of gross misconduct.
Mr Gallagher added that the loss of Stewart's income would have a disastrous impact on his ability to maintain payment on the mortgaged home he shared with his partner and child.
"At first blush, you may feel this has to be a disqualification," he told magistrates.
"But the application of your sentencing guidelines has to be proportionate."
He said Stewart, who was not at work at the time of the offence, had since replaced the Ford Focus with an automatic transmission car, less capable of rapid acceleration.
Stewart was handed six points and fined £576.