Driving ban for Magpies owner caught doing 77mph
HARDY Notts County owner Alan Hardy was given a a three-month driving ban after a court heard he was “the busiest man in the world”.
He claimed that he would need two chauffeurs to keep leading his shop refurbishing business group, Paragon, saying that it maintained 1,000 jobs.
Hardy, 54, was caught doing 77mph in a temporary 40mph limit through roadworks on the A52 Clifton Boulevard on March 5.
He told Nottingham Magistrates’ Court that a disqualification would cause “exceptional hardship” to employees and also to his family. But district judge Leo Pyle imposed the driving ban and said there had been “two similar offences” since he was caught in a speed trap.
Film of the road was played in court and the judge told Hardy:
“The signage showing the temporary speed limit festoons the road in many places. There is even a sign stating the reason for the limit. Speed limits are imposed for safety reasons.
“The rules of the road apply to everyone – they are there to prevent tragedy.”
Hardy entered the witness box to outline the effect on his work and charity efforts, as well as his family.
He said that the “busiest man” comment was made by a colleague who sent a reference to the hearing. At a recent meeting of directors, he had been described as “irreplaceable” after building up the business from scratch.
Hardy, who drives an electric car, said he often visited sites to maintain the morale of his workers.
“If I expect the guys to work throughout the night, there is no reason why I should not be delivering them Mcdonald’s at midnight or 12.30am,” he said.
He risked a ban because he had eight penalty points on his driving licence – and said that he drove 70,000 miles annually, 10 times the national average. “It is not as if I have left a trail of destruction behind me,” he said.
“This was a lapse of concentration and I should probably change my car. It is an electric car. If you are travelling at 50 or 70, it sounds the same. I will have to slow down and concentrate more,” said Hardy, of Bleasby Road, Bleasby.
He admitted breaking the 40mph limit at 11.14am on March 5. He told the court that he suffered from motion sickness, which affected him when he was a passenger in vehicles
Peter Quinn, prosecuting, said: “It was a perfectly clear day. We are not dealing with fog or poor conditions. No-one was adversely affected by the speed.”
Hardy was fined £2,430 and must pay £620 prosecution costs and a £170 government surcharge. Laura Hocknell, in mitigation, applied for the disqualification to be suspended while Hardy lodged an appeal at the crown court. This was refused.
The rules of the road apply to everyone – they are there to prevent tragedy
Alan Hardy arriving at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court yesterday