Friday, 30 January 2015

Former racing driver clocked up 127mph on Highland road . . .


Former racing driver clocked up 127mph on Highland road

Cited at:

Inverness Sheriff Court

A FORMER racing driver who now works as a motoring journalist has been put off the road for more than a year for driving his powerful Porsche 911 Carrera at more than twice the speed limit on the A96.

Owen Mildenhall from Edenbridge in Kent was clocked at 127mph by speed cops at Tornagrain.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard on Thursday the 41 year-old was travelling to the Highland capital for the launch of a new BMW car.

As well as a £2,000 fine, Mildenhall was given a 15-month driving ban, which his solicitor said would mean he would lose his job.

Mildenhall admitted driving dangerously at a grossly excessive speed on July 10.

Depute fiscal Stewart Maciver explained that at 12.45am police carrying out speed checks became aware of a high performance vehicle accelerating towards them.

“Using their pro-laser speed camera they detected Mildenhall was travelling at 127mp in a 60mph zone. He was followed and stopped," said Mr Maciver.

Mildenhall was taken to Burnett Road Police Station and when charged he told police: ‘I was just accelerating out of the roundabout. I was not going to sustain that speed. I was testing the vehicle acceleration through the gears. I understand that’s not an excuse’.

His solicitor Joe MacPherson said Mildenhall and his partner had a mortgage of £1,100 a month and he knew he would lose his job.

Mr MacPherson said: “He was about six miles from his hotel. It was at the end of a very long drive from London.”

Mr MacPherson said there was a bright moon, road conditions were good and the road was clear.

The solicitor added Mildenhall was a highly trained driver who clocks up 80,000 miles a year as a road tester for a motoring magazine.

“He has never had points on his licence and never been in an accident. He held a racing licence for 10 years and he became a high performance instructor in that industry," said the solicitor.

“He considers he drives with skill and consideration. This is an exception.”

Mr MacPherson said the case would create great difficulties in his personal life.

“He will lose his job. I have a letter from his editor. He needs his licence to review cars and he will be out of the industry for at least the period of the ban and he has no other skills.”

The consequences of his actions he said would mean he faces a period of great difficulty.

“Since this happened he has been beset by worry and is upset at putting himself in this position.”

Mr MacPherson added that despite the high speed Mildenhall was driving within his capabilities, but he knew it was unacceptable.

Sheriff David Sutherland said it was a grossly excessive speed despite the fact traffic was light at the time of night the offence took place.

He said he also took into account Mildenhall’s clean driving record.

But he told him: ”The penalties for such an offence are considerable and can include imprisonment.

“But I have taken into account the fact you have lost your employment and you have no previous convictions.”

Mildenhall was ordered to resit a test to drive at the expiry of his disqualification.

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