(PRWeb UK) March 19, 2010
Matthew Tew consulted Barry Culshaw of the Motoring Offences team at Blake Lapthorn solicitors with regard to a count of speeding. Mr Tew had contravened a 30 mph speed limit in the Eastleigh area of Southampton by travelling at 41 mph. Hampshire Constabulary prosecuted Mr Tew for the offence and the matter came before the Justices at New Forest Magistrates Court on 28 January 2010. The case (case number A20100026) was heard in the Southampton Crown Court.
Mr Tew was liable to a period of disqualification under the "totting up" provisions as he already had 9 penalty points on his driving licence and due to a prior period of disqualification over the relevant 3 year period he was liable to be disqualified by the Justices for a minimum period of 12 months. The Justices proceeded to impose a fine for the offence and did impose a 12 month period of disqualification from driving.
Barry Culshaw advised Mr Tew to lodge an immediate appeal against sentence and the Justices saw fit to suspend the period of disqualification pending the outcome of the appeal. In the meantime, Barry Culshaw advised Mr Tew to voluntarily attend a full days Road Risk and Behaviour Training Course. This course was satisfactorily completed on 12 February 2010.
Mr Tew's appeal against sentence came before His Honour Judge Leigh QC and two Justices sitting at the Southampton Crown Court on 12 March 2010. The thrust of the appeal was that the voluntary and successful attendance at such a Road Risk and Behaviour Training Course could amount to a mitigating circumstance which is not excluded by virtue of section 35(4) of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 and that, despite Mr Tew not having an exceptional hardship argument, the court was entitled to mitigate the normal consequences of a minimum period of disqualification of 12 months. In upholding Barry Culshaw's submissions and in thanking Mr Culshaw for the "fluent and excellent way" in which the submissions were made His Honour Judge Leigh in delivering the Judgment of the court reduced the period of disqualification from 12 months to 3 months and confirmed that the course was capable of amounting to a mitigating circumstance not excluded by the legislation.