Somerset

Disabled Somerset war veteran's speed ban upheld

A 90-year-old disabled war veteran who was caught speeding in his specially adapted car must serve a six-month ban, the High Court has ruled.

Ex-Grenadier Guardsman Roland Morris, from Worle, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, was caught driving at 42mph in a 30mph zone last year.

Mr Morris, who already had nine points on his licence, was driving on the A38 between Highbridge and Bridgwater.

The ban was imposed at Taunton Dene Magistrates' Court in January.

It was upheld at crown court, although a fine of £300 was reduced to £200.

Judicial review

Mr Morris, who was injured while serving in Africa during World War II, went to the High Court in London on Thursday in a last attempt to overturn the ban by applying for a judicial review.

Wearing a Guards Division tie, he drove to the doors of Court 28 in a red four-wheeled disabled buggy, which he later took into the Royal Courts of Justice cafe.

He told two judges that he had no idea he was speeding and would not continue to drive if he did not think it was safe to do so.

Mr Morris argued that he had been "induced" into pleading guilty and denied a fair hearing.

He said he wanted to carry on driving for the sake of his mental health and his community work.

Lord Justice Pitchford, sitting with Mr Justice Maddison, described Mr Morris as a man with "an impressive record of public service from his earliest adulthood in the Army, and to the present day".

But the judge added: "My regretful conclusion is that no arguable error of law is to be discerned in any of Mr Morris's grounds for seeking judicial review, either in the magistrates' court or the crown court."

There had been "nothing equivocal" about his guilty plea, said the judge.

Although the loss of his car was no doubt "extremely inconvenient" and "rather depressing" for him, it did not justify allowing him to avoid the ban on grounds of "exceptional hardship".

Mr Morris was praised for his courtesy in presenting his case and he in turn thanked the judges for their "very fair" handling of his application.

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