A CONSTRUCTION boss who clocked up four speeding tickets in three years told Swindon Crown Court his company could go bust if he was banned from driving.

Trevor Newman, chairman of children’s football club Castle Combe Colts FC, lost his bid to keep his licence.

The 53-year-old, from Stanton St Quintin, attempted to persuade Judge Jason Taylor QC, sitting alongside two magistrates, he would face exceptional hardship were he to be disqualified from driving for six months.

Throwing out Newman’s appeal, Judge Taylor said: “Whilst we appreciate the appellant will experience hardship, that is to be expected and indeed it is appropriate as the totting up proceedings are intended to punish and deter.”

He added: “Sadly, as is often the case the punishment in these sort of cases does fall on others. Whilst we are not immune to that and do have some sympathy, in our judgement it doesn’t bring it within the degree to constitute exceptional hardship.”

Prosecutor Andrew Stone told the court Newman had been caught doing an average speed of 58mph in his 67 plate Honda CRV at around 11.30am on June 27, 2019, on the M4 near Port Talbot. There was a temporary 50mph speed limit.

He had already clocked up nine penalty points on his licence, having been caught speeding in 2017, 2018 and February 2019. He was fined £106 and banned from driving for six months, having failed to convince the justices he would face exceptional hardship if he were disqualified.

Seven months later, the appeal was heard at Swindon Crown Court. Christopher Pembridge, defending, said there were many people who would be affected if Newman could not drive.

The trained quantity surveyor is one of two directors of a firm overseeing multi-million pound student accommodation construction schemes and needed to drive to building sites around the country to check on progress. Asked what would happen if he could not drive, he said: “It would close my business. My business would fail. There is no doubt about it.”

He said he also needed to drive in order to take his elderly father to hospital appointments, drive one son to football practice and another teenage son to his apprenticeship near Corsham. The court heard Newman had his own health difficulties, including obesity and sleep apnoea which had been treated at Bristol Royal Infirmary. He is the chairman of the Castle Combe Colts, coaching the under-18 side, and needed to attend games and sessions once the lockdown was lifted.

Newman said: “I feel as though I’ve let everyone down. There is no disputing the fact that I’ve sped four times and totted up the points. I so regret it.” He said he had not realised how much a ban would affect his mental health and impact his family and business.

He was quizzed by the judge: “Why, when you had nine points on your licence weren’t you extra careful?” Newman replied: “I don’t know if the sleep apnoea was a part of it.” That earned him a warning from Judge Taylor: “I’m not sure you want to go down that line.”

In his appeal papers he had described the speeding on the M4 as a moment of madness. Prosecutor Andrew Stone questioned that: “It’s not really a moment, is it? You go to say that it’s something you’ve learned from. But in what sense did you learn from it on the previous occasions?” “I didn’t learn from it,” Newman replied. “I’ve learned from it now.” The speeder also admitted he hadn’t gone on an advanced driving course, as he told police he would.

Judge Taylor dismissed the appeal and ordered the appellant pay £350 costs to the prosecution.