Faye had been caught speeding at 94mph in a 50 mph limit. She expected to be disqualified from driving but wanted the period she would be without a driving licence to be kept to a minimum. The offence had been committed within 2 years of passing her driving test and so she was caught by the rules for ‘New Drivers’ ie if she received 6 or more penalty points her licence would be revoked automatically by the DVLA. Given the covid pandemic the waiting list for theory and driving tests was expected to take over 1 year.
The speed limit had been exceeded by an excessively large margin and so, ordinarily, the court would be considering a considerably extended driving ban (not the usual 56 days for the top sentencing bracket). However, given her personal and business circumstances either a very lengthy ban or 6 penalty points (the court’s usual alternative in cases in which it does not disqualify) would have been a catastrophe for her.
She engaged Sunil Rupasinha for advice. He took her instructions on why she had been speeding, for which there was a very unusual explanation, and what it would cost her to lose her licence for a protracted period (significant personal and professional difficulties would have ensued). Sunil advised on how she should seek to persuade the court, firstly, that there were mitigating circumstances for the speeding and, secondly, how to evidence the extent of the difficulties that an extended ban would cause her.
Faye attended court early on the day with copies of all of the documentation she had been advised to obtain. Sunil attended early too and made sure that she fully understood the process and dealt with any last minute questions she had. In court the Magistrates were persuaded of every element of Faye’s case and they disqualified her for only 21 days. Given what is set out above, this was the very best sentence Faye could have hoped for (indeed, she wanted a short disqualification rather than 6 penalty points or a long ban). This sentence would usually have been reserved for those exceeding the limit by a much lower margin than Faye had done.
Faye said, ‘ Sunil explained matters from the very beginning all the way through to our day in court so that I fully understood what was required and why we were adopting the approach we did. In court, he had to walk a tightrope but he did so expertly and sensitively putting matters across so that I gained the sympathy of the court. I could not have asked for a better result.’