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Royal supplier banned after speeding again
2:01pm Monday 28th January 2013 in News
A supplier of linen to Royalty has been banned from driving after admitting speeding on the A59 at Beamsley Hill.
William Woods, of Woods of Harrogate, said to be the “finest linen shop in the UK”, was caught almost a year ago doing 57mph in a 50mph zone in his Maserati, Skipton magistrates heard last Wednesday.
Woods, 64, grandson of the founder of the 118-year-old family interiors business, had nine points on his licence at the time, all for speeding, and was in danger of an automatic six-month ban as a tot-up, the court heard.
He tried to argue a ban would result in exceptional hardship, not specifically for him, but for his 14 employers.
But magistrates said although they accepted there would be hardship, it was not exceptional.
They added another three points to his licence, taking him to the maximum 12, and triggering an automatic six- month ban.
Wood’s barrister, John Oultram, of celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman’s (known as Mr Loophole) firm, immediately lodged an appeal against sentence, but magistrates turned down a request for the ban to be suspended pending the result of the appeal.
The court heard that Woods was on his way back to Harrogate with his wife from the Devonshire Arms, at Bolton Abbey, on February 12 when he was caught by a speed camera on the 50mph section of Beamsley Hill.
He had originally been offered a fixed penalty, but that had been withdrawn because of the number of points already on his licence.
Woods, who had originally denied speeding, changed his plea to guilty before last week’s trial.
He told the court that he had bought his Maserati for his 60th birthday and after receiving three fixed penalties for speeding – in 2009, 2010 and in 2011 – had fitted a speed limiter on the car.
He said the limiter had failed to re-set on February 12 and that he had been under the impression the speed limit for the stretch of road was 60mph and not 50.
Mr Oultram told the court that the business was very much personality-driven and that Woods travelled all over the country to give interior design advice.
The shop itself had recently supplied the Queen with linen and was also a supplier of Harrods of Knightsbridge, the court heard.
On a normal week, Woods spent two or three days in his car driving to often-remote country houses, the court was told. It would be impossible for him to use public transport, to use one of his employees or a member of his family to drive him, said Mr Oultram. “It would cause exceptional hardship, not to Mr Woods specifically, but to others,” he said.
Woods, of Wheatlands Road East, Harrogate, was also fined £690 and ordered to pay costs of £135 and victims surcharge of £15.