TV star Paddy McGuinness escapes driving ban despite earlier pleading guilty to speeding

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

CHESHIRE TV star Paddy McGuinness has thanked his lawyer Nick "Mr Loophole" Freeman after beating a driving ban - even though he had pleaded guilty.

The Phoenix Nights comedian's Land Rover was caught by a speed camera driving at 53mph in a 40mph zone in Chorlton, Manchester, on August 8, last year.

He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to failing to provide information on who was driving and was given six penalty points, triggering a driving ban as he already had six points on his licence.

That hearing was adjourned for the court to consider the length of any ban, but McGuinness, of Prestbury, Cheshire, then contacted celebrity lawyer Mr Freeman, an expert on motoring offences and the law.

Mr Freeman argued the earlier conviction should be set aside as the guilty plea had been "equivocal" and a trial date was set for Tuesday, where Mr Freeman represented McGuinness at Manchester Magistrates' Court.

Mr Freeman pointed out a number of procedural faults with the prosecution evidence, the case was dismissed and McGuinness awarded costs.

The court heard McGuinness had moved house three times in the last two years and although he was the registered keeper of the vehicle, he had not received a notice of intended prosecution or a reminder.

Mr Freeman said at the time of the offence, McGuinness had been having work done on his car so asked for the speed camera photograph to be sent to him. But he never received the photograph.

At Tuesday's hearing Mr Freeman told magistrates the prosecution had failed to provide any documents or evidence to the defence and had failed in its legal duties.

The court heard Greater Manchester Police took the lead in the prosecution and had not provided the documents, and the court dismissed the prosecution.

Take Me Out host McGuinness formally pleaded not guilty to failing to give information relating to the identification of the driver of the Land Rover.

Outside court Mr Freeman said: "Mr McGuinness' Range Rover was caught speeding on August 8, 2016, but my client did not believe he was the driver, as his car was having some work undertaken at about that time.

"Mr McGuinness did not receive the notice of intended prosecution, nor the reminder, that were both allegedly sent to his home address.

"My client is obviously relieved to have been found not guilty."

Email:

it@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Chester Leader

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