A self-employed locksmith who clocked up NINETEEN points on his licence has been spared a driving ban after a successful court appeal.
Thomas Oliver, of Hargreaves Road, Oswaldtwistle, already had 14 points on his licence for previous driving offences before he collided with a taxi on the M65.
The 36-year-old was found guilty of driving without due care and attention after a trial at Burnley Magistrates Court earlier this year.
The incident happened at around 1am on March 22 last year.
Oliver was given a further five points on his licence by the magistrates - bringing the total number to 19 - and also ordered to pay £350 costs and a £120 fine. Normally 12 points triggers an automatic ban, however Oliver has escaped a six-month ban after convincing an appeal hearing at Burnley Crown Court that he would suffer ‘exceptional hardship’.
Sarah Gruffydd, representing the prosecution at the appeal, told the court that at the time of the taxi collision Oliver had 14 points on his licence but was not disqualified.
He was previously given eight points for driving without insurance in 2015 and three points each for two separate speeding offences in 2016.
Solicitor Daniel Fraser said a driving ban would cause ‘exceptional hardship’ to Oliver, his business and his partner who needs him to drive her to medical appointments after she suffered a brain haemorrhage. He said: “If he was to lose his licence then he would lose his job and so would the person he employs.”
Speaking at the appeal hearing, Oliver said: “The business will not survive me being unable to drive.”
He told the court that he couldn’t use public transport to get to locksmith jobs because of time, expense and the ‘practicalities’ of bringing a lot of tools to jobs.
The former marketing sales worker also said his ‘overheads are huge’ and he couldn’t afford to employ a driver.
The court allowed the appeal on the grounds that it would affect Oliver’s business, family and partner.