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Fireman admits driving offences

PUBLISHED: 16:48 27 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:26 03 March 2010

A PART-TIME firefighter today admitted he had been foolish after a string of motoring offences nearly led to him losing his driving licence.

Lee Deane, of Alexander Drive, Needham Market, who also works as a cabinet sprayer at the same time as being retained at Needham Market fire station, escaped a driving ban when he insisted he needed to be able to drive to an emergency within three minutes.

A PART-TIME firefighter today admitted he had been foolish after a string of motoring offences nearly led to him losing his driving licence.

Lee Deane, of Alexander Drive, Needham Market, who also works as a cabinet sprayer at the same time as being retained at Needham Market fire station, escaped a driving ban when he insisted he needed to be able to drive to an emergency within three minutes.

Deane, who is in the final stages of joining the London Fire Service, already held six penalty points on his licence but, under law known as "tot-up" offences, he faced a driving ban if he the points total reached 12.

The 26-year-old, who was described in court as "an asset to Suffolk's Fire Service" entered a mitigating plea of exceptional hardship after he told them that he needed to drive to answer emergency calls within three minutes. His home is around one and a half miles away from Needham fire station.

Deane was fined a total of £230 and given an extra eight penalty points on his licence. Despite the total reaching 14, he was allowed to keep his licence.

He told the Star: "I feel very foolish for what I've done and I'm very sorry for what I've done. These charges date back to three years ago when I was foolish and very much younger and naive. I've always taken my job in a professional manner and I'm interested in doing things to save people's lives. None of these offences when I was in the brigade and in no way have I brought the fire service into disrepute."

Deane pleaded guilty to charges of driving without insurance and not possessing a test certificate after police stopped him on his motorbike on August 16, 2000. He also pleaded guilty to fraudulent use of a vehicle licence.

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