110mph A14 speeder gets driving ban overturned 'by skin of his teeth'

Ipswich Crown Court

Samuel Heyes successfully appealed the driving ban at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A 110mph speeder has been allowed to keep driving with 15 points on his licence after successfully appealing to have his disqualification overturned.

Samuel Heyes was clocked driving an Audi A4 at 110mph on the westbound A14, at Sproughton, just before 11.30am on April 30 last year.

The 30-year-old, of Rendlesham Road, Felixstowe, already had nine points on his licence at the time of the offence.

In September, magistrates rejected an 'exceptional hardship' application and handed Heyes another six points – banning him from driving for six months under the totting-up procedure.

The court heard that Heyes, classed as a keyworker during the coronavirus lockdown, had received a call from his former business partner regarding procedures and policies that needed to be put in place due to Covid-19, and that he was “faced with an open road” when making the journey to begin working on the document.

Heyes was granted a suspension of disqualification pending an appeal before a judge and two magistrates at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday.

He told the court he was the sole director of a coffee cargo handling business, operating at Tilbury and Liverpool ports, employing two people and currently appointing 16 subcontractors.

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The court heard it was Heyes' responsibility to transport workers between locations in a seven-seater van.

He argued that other people would suffer exceptional hardship as a result of his being disqualified from driving.

He said the only other person at the firm capable of driving was his second in command, who he feared could reasonably decline to take up the extra burden, leaving the company immobile and facing possible liquidation.

A letter to the court from the company's accountants said operations required travel between dock and storage locations, at short notice, and during unsociable hours. 

Mr Recorder Brooke-Smith said the decision of the court had been a "close run thing", but that the potential impact of disqualification on innocent third parties had tipped the balance in favour of Heyes succeeding in his appeal by the "skin of his teeth". 

Despite the disqualification being overturned, the penalty points and initial £380 fine will remain imposed.

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