Essex

Basildon man with 42 points for driving offences keeps licence

Car speeding past camera Image copyright PA
Image caption Alex McFarlane was given 42 points on his licence for speeding and running a red light

A man with 42 points on his licence has been allowed to continue driving.

Alex McFarlane, 50, of Wood Green, Basildon, Essex, admitted seven offences, including one related to driving at 109mph in a 50mph area, Essex Police said.

A court heard he had had a nervous breakdown resulting in debts which he could not repay if unable to drive.

The law states drivers with more than 12 points on a licence within a three-year period can face disqualification.

Construction manager McFarlane initially denied seven counts of failing to give information in relation to driving offences when questioned by police.

He later changed his plea to guilty, and he was given six points for each of the counts.

'Exceptional hardship'

Six of the offences included driving at 32mph in a 20mph zone, Essex Police said. The seventh offence involved going through a red light.

The offences took place between June and August 2014.

Southend magistrates agreed not to ban McFarlane from driving after he claimed mitigating circumstances including "exceptional hardship" due to loss of income.

Magistrates heard he had had a nervous breakdown since the incidents, during which time he had built up considerable debts.

He told the court he would lose both his home and his job, and be unable to pay his debts if he lost his licence.

McFarlane was given 42 points on his licence and fined £150 for each offence.

He was warned if further driving offences were committed he would automatically be disqualified from driving, Essex Police said.

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