Teacher banned from driving after speeding at 105mph on A19

The A19 at Peterlee.
The A19 at Peterlee.

A supply teacher spotted driving at 105mph on the A19 has been banned from the roads for a year.

A police officer driving an unmarked car in the outside lane of the northbound carriageway on January 23, noticed a silver Mercedes driven by 38-year-old Karen Robson pulled up close behind, Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court heard.

A19 campaign logo.

A19 campaign logo.

Prosecutor Emma Barker said: “It was felt it was unsafely close, so at the earliest opportunity, the officer has pulled into lane one and was subsequently overtaken by the Mercedes.

“The officer followed the Mercedes as it accelerated to 105mph as it passed Peterlee.”

The Mercedes had pulled up close to the bumper of another car travelling at 70mph, then accelerated up to 100mph after passing it.

As it approached Easington services, the Mercedes again pulled up close behind a car in the outside lane: “The driver made a hand gesture to the vehicle in front,” said Miss Barker.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court.

“The Mercedes then undertook the vehicle in lane one, then returned to lane two.”

When the officer pulled Robson over, he noticed the smell of cannabis and asked her if she had used the drug, to which she replied ‘Not for months.’

“A roadside drug test was positive for cannabis within 90 seconds - it usually takes several minutes,” said Miss Barker.

Robson, of Waterhouses, Houghton, admitted driving in excess of 70mph and failing to provide a blood specimen for analysis after being taken to Peterlee police station.

Stewart Hay, for Robson, said she fully accepted she had been speeding. She suffered from multiple sclerosis and used cannabis ‘purely to deal with these particular problems.’

“She did not want to provide because she had the belief that would cause problems for her because she takes cannabis for her Multiple Sclerosis,” he said.

“In the years she has had Multiple Sclerosis, she has had lesions on the brain. The cannabis, she believes, is a cure for that.”

There was no indication Robson had been under the influence of the drug when she was stopped: “The officer notes she was polite, steady on her feet, that she understands the question and is apologetic,” said Mr Hay.

“While she accepts she had been speeding, she was not aware she was travelling at 105mph.”

Robson was fined £200 for failing to provide a specimen and £120 for speeding. She was banned for a year and given six penalty points.