Sunderland driver gets speed fine reduced

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A DRIVER caught speeding on the A690 has had his penalty reduced.

John Barker, of Bywell Avenue, Castletown, Sunderland, was doing 68mph at West Rainton when he was caught by a camera van, Durham Crown Court heard.

“The limit is 50mph,” said Chris Baker, prosecuting. “He was fined £400 by magistrates in his absence and given four licence penalty points.

“I have spoken with Mr Barker today, and he tells me he was offered a fixed penalty of £100.

“He tried to avail himself of that, but was unable to do so because of a breakdown in communications with Durham Police.”

Mr Barker, 35, told the court he pleaded guilty by email, and telephoned Durham Police twice in a bid to get the paperwork to pay the fixed penalty.

The Recorder, Mr Tahir Khan QC, heard Mr Barker’s appeal against sentence sitting with two magistrates.

The panel quashed the original penalty and substituted it for a fine of £80, a victim surcharge of £20 and three penalty points.

Recorder Khan said: “We are satisfied you did all that was humanly possible to pay the fixed penalty.”