Driv­ing ban for Mag­pies owner caught do­ing 77mph

Nottingham Post - - NEWS - By ROD MAL­COLM

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

Alan Hardy ar­riv­ing at Not­ting­ham Mag­is­trates’ Court yes­ter­day

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