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Gas engineer who sped on A11 escapes driving ban after pleading ‘exceptional hardship’

PUBLISHED: 13:10 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:10 13 December 2019

The A11 is blocked near Spooner Row following an accident between a car and a caravan. Photo: Google

The A11 is blocked near Spooner Row following an accident between a car and a caravan. Photo: Google

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A gas engineer who did 78mph on the A11 has avoided a ban due after claiming it would leave him unable to work.

Norwich Magistrates Court. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodNorwich Magistrates Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Andrew Ladell, of Oak Street, Feltwell, pleaded guilty to speeding by exceeding the limit for a goods vehicle.

The defendant was caught driving his Renault goods vehicle at 78mph in 60mph on the A11 at Wymondham on March 6 this year.

The 37-year-old was issued with a fixed penalty but already had nine points on his licence and faced a six month disqualification.

Simon Nicholls, defending, told the court the defendant had worked for the same company for 15 years and was its only gas safety engineer.

The defence told the court Ladell was on emergency call for his company 24/seven and looked after care homes and schools throughout East Anglia.

Addressing the defendant, Mr Nicholls said: "If you are not able to drive they [the company] have a problem, they have to find a suitable replacement.

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"Nothing is so important to break the speed limit."

The defendant said he drove over 500 miles a week for work and had a 30-minute daily commute. He said and would find it difficult to use public transport to get to work or jobs.

A letter from his 74-year-old mother and 85-year-old stepfather was given to magistrates detailing how they relied on the defendant to 'do all the jobs' including taking them to the doctors and do the shopping.

He told the court his family did not live close by or had family commitments which meant they could not help him mum and stepfather.

Ladell said: "I now have a limiter in it [his vehicle] which helps me a lot. I am more aware than before. I do watch my speed now."

He was ordered to pay £283 in costs.

The magistrates said: "On this occasion we are prepared to grant you exceptional hardship.

"We have read from your parents, your mum, and the fact they would be disadvantage if you were to lose your licence.

"Your company would be in some difficulty, it's the fact with the company and your parents that makes it exceptional hardship."


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