90mph police chief cops 42-day ban
No excuses, admits South Yorkshire supremo
Meredydd Hughes, the chief constable of South Yorkshire and former chair of roads policing at the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), has copped a 42-day driving ban for doing 90mph on the A5 at Chirk near Wrexham in May. He was also slapped with a £350 fine by Wrexham magistrates, the BBC reports.
Hughes, 49, was off duty when clocked exceeding the speed limit in his Y-reg Audi at 8.17am on 28 May, the court heard. He did not attend the hearing but was represented by his solicitor, Huw Edwards, who entered a guilty plea.
Edwards stressed that his client had "made a guilty plea 'effectively' at the first opportunity" and had "fully co-operated with the police". He explained: "With regards to the offence itself, Mr Hughes recalls that on that morning he was returning from north Wales where he was on a short climbing holiday.
"He doesn't seek to make any excuse about this matter. He totally accepts that the police have a duty to do. He is no exception and he accepts that he must be punished for the offence. He asks me to apologise for the offence. He recognises that the matter is a serious matter."
Magistrate Brinley Hughes said: "We have looked at guidelines and taken advice and we have come up with a decision that Mr Hughes, for the excessive high speed and the time of day that the offence happened, we feel this merits disqualification for 42 days. Your client's early guilty plea has been reflected in the financial penalty."
Hughes stepped down from his Acpo post as soon as he was summonsed for the driving offence. The BBC adds that "South Yorkshire Police refused to discuss whether a car and police driver would be made available to Mr Hughes during the period of his driving ban".
Regarding the court case, South Yorkshire Police Authority issued a statement which said: "The matter will now be considered by the South Yorkshire Police Authority in accordance with established procedures relating to this type of incident." ®
The Beeb notes that while at Acpo, Hughes had argued for "less conspicuous" speed cameras as a way of combatting excess velocity.