Ilkley speeding points driver spared jail by U-turn Bradford judge (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Ilkley speeding points driver spared jail by U-turn Bradford judge
Two men jailed at Bradford Crown Court for a speeding points scam were freed an hour later after the judge had a change of heart.
Gordon Mee, a former principal dealer at JCT600 BMW in Bradford, and company sales manager Simon Stolting, were taken down to the cells yesterday after Judge Peter Benson locked them up.
Mee, 48, was imprisoned for 56 days and Stolting, 36, for 28 days after both admitted perverting the course of justice.
The court heard that “in a moment of madness” Mee asked Stolting to take speeding points for him because he already had nine on his licence and feared a ban could cost him his job.
But Judge Benson later came back into court to suspend both men’s sentences for 12 months.
The judge said he had reflected on the sentence he had just passed while driving along Valley Road, Shipley – the road where Mee was caught by a speeding camera doing 39mph in a company BMW on November 5, 2011.
“I found this case to be a very difficult one and, although my instinct was not to send you to immediate custody, I thought my public duty demanded it,” said Judge Benson.
He said he had changed his mind because of the hardship Mee’s family would suffer if he was jailed.
Paul Greaney QC said Mee would lose the new employment he had secured, after being sacked from JCT600 BMW in August last year, if he went to prison.
Stolting, on a final written warning at the firm, would be dismissed if he was jailed, his lawyer, David Ake, said.
Suspending both men’s jail sentences, Judge Benson told the pair: “This case has been a troubling one but on reflection, I think this is the appropriate course.”
Prosecutor Mehran Nassiri said Mee paid for Stolting to go on a speed awareness course to avoid getting three points on his licence.
Mr Greaney said the points swap was “a decision made on the spur of the moment that spiralled out of control”. Mee did not put Stolting under any pressure to accept the points and there was no inducement.
After the case Chief Inspector Neil Hunter, head of Roads Policing in West Yorkshire, said: “The outcome of today’s case should serve as a warning that the police regularly identify attempts by drivers to avoid the consequences of speeding by providing false details and will put offenders before the courts.”