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Vicar spared driving ban after arguing exceptional hardship

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An elderly vicar, who had admitted speeding for the fourth time in as many years, has managed to keep his licence.

In May last year, Reverend Tudor Rowlands was caught doing 40mph in a 30mph zone.

Having already racked up nine points on his licence, from three previous speeding offences, the 74-year-old risked a driving ban.

But the clergyman, who represents a rural parish in Powys, North Wales, successfully argued “exceptional hardship”.

Justin Espie, prosecuting, told Welshpool Court that the Rev Rowlands had been stopped in the Talybont area, at around 10am in the morning.

After pulling in the vicar, police officers were made aware that he had a number of previous convictions for breaking the speed limit.

Rev Rowlands, who has been a minister for almost 50 years, acknowledged that neither his job nor home would be at risk if he was banned from getting back behind the wheel.

But he argued that if he was disqualified he would struggle to travel to the 10 chapels he was in charge of, or visit elderly parishioners in their homes.

This could harm the “spiritual health” of his parish and isolate those residents who had no-one else to call on, he claimed.

Magistrates accepted his argument of exceptional hardship and fined the minister £70, ordered him to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £20.

At Lester Morrill we understand the implications of being caught driving in excess of the speed limit. Our road traffic team can provide representation if you believe you should not have been awarded points on your licence or if you are facing disqualification, and believe this would cause you exceptional hardship. To find out how we can assist, contact our Leeds-based solicitors today.

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