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Magistrates ban Southwold chief executive Mark Lapping from driving with 21 points on licence for speeding

Mark Lapping was banned from driving for six months with 21 points for speeding. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mark Lapping was banned from driving for six months with 21 points for speeding. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC © 2007

The chief executive of a Suffolk company on £170,000 a year has been banned from driving for six months with 21 penalty points for speeding after losing an ‘exceptional hardship’ plea.

Mark Lapping admitted four offences of speeding, committed between February 21 and May 25 last year, but this morning asked magistrates in Norwich to keep his licence.

Lapping told the court he is the chief executive of Global Chair Components, based in Southwold, and regularly needs to travel to the site in Reydon from his home at Rudham Road, Helhoughton.

The 48-year-old father of two already had nine points for speeding offences, and has now had his licence endorsed with a further 12.

Driving a Land Rover Discovery, he was caught at 72mph in a 60 limit on February 21 at Sutton Bridge in King’s Lynn.

In the same vehicle on May 6 he was caught at 35mph in a 30mph at Whaplode in Lincolnshire, on May 20 at 62mph in a 50mph zone on the A414 at Stanstead Abbotts, and on May 25 at 35mph in a 30 limit, again at Whaplode.

Pleading exceptional hardship, Lapping told the court: “I am responsible for the business and that requires me to be in Reydon on a regular basis. I can’t get there by public transport in the time available. The duties extend throughout the UK as they have customers in China and Eastern Europe which requires transport to airports.

“There are over 40 employees and the reason I was employed was they needed someone to run the business on a day-to-day basis, so there could be a detrimental impact on employees.

“My mortgage is £3,411 per month and I am the sole earner. Taxi costs for all of the locations I would need to get to would take at least 20% of my income.

“I would have to stop other activities, particularly my daughter’s equine activities which she is passionate about.

“I regret the incidents as they have occurred and apologise unreservedly for them. I was in a distracted state of mind at the time and I had other priorities.”

Mitigating for Lapping, Joanna Kasprzyk said he had been “burnt out” by a decade of work with his previous employer.

“He was burnt out and it had an affect on him and his family,” she said. “When he decided to leave and tell everyone he was leaving that is when the driving offences were committed.”

Lapping was given three penalty points and a £330 fine for each offence, with costs of £300 and a victim surcharge of £33.

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