Case Study

Unlicenced driver banned and fined £75 for "careless" driving which hit cyclist

Incident date: 
Tue, 27 Mar 2012

An unlicenced driver has been banned from driving following his conviction for careless driving which injured cyclist Gareth Wellings, causing his bike frame to snap.

Scott Messenger, 40, from Ashford (Kent), turned right near his home on 21st March 2012, across the path of Wellings, leaving the cyclist with no time to brake. Police found he was unlicenced and uninsured at the time.

Messenger pleaded guilty at Folkestone Magistrates Court on 2.8.2012 to the offences of driving without due care and attention and driving without a licence.He was handed 6 points on his provisional licence, which already had 6 points on it when he was caught motorcycling without a licence last year.

His defence solicitor had argued that Messenger should not be banned due to “exceptional circumstances”. The former builder had passed his driving test 3 weeks after running down Gareth Wellings, and had then got a £750pw contract manager job, which involved travel to sites throughout the south-east. He now faces the prospect of losing this job. His wife earns just £400 per month. They have a 21 year old daughter who is said to have a mental age of 4. The magistrates hearing his case rejected his “exceptional circumstances and imposed a 6-month ban. However they fined him just £75 with £100 costs, in recognition of his financial hardship.”

CTC's view: 

In the absence of evidence of obvious reckless intent, a driving ban is the appropriate response in this case. However it is disturbing that this is the second time Messenger has been caught using a motor vehicle while unlicenced. He should not receive any leniency if he flouts his driving ban again.

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