A SPEEDING motorway driver blamed the announcement of the Queen's death for his offence.

Andrew Peters said he was distracted after hearing the news on the radio - and pleaded with magistrates not to be given a driving ban despite already having nine points on his licence. 

The 63-year-old made a 12-hour round trip from his home in Oxford Terrace, Edinburgh, to appear at Worcester Magistrates Court on Friday afternoon, (November 3). 

Worcester News: BANNED: Andrew Peters leaving Worcester Magistrates CourtBANNED: Andrew Peters leaving Worcester Magistrates Court (Image: Sam Greenway/Newsquest)At the start of the hearing, the court clerk told magistrates Peters had been caught speeding on the M5, between the Junction 6 to 5 northbound, on September 8 last year. 

Magistrates heard a variable speed limit of 60 mph was in force on that stretch of road at the time, but Peters had been clocked travelling at a speed of 68 mph. 

In the witness box, Peters attempted to argue there were special reasons - a legal defence that there are exceptional circumstances that led to you committing the offence -  which meant magistrates should not give him points. The additional points would make him a 12-point totter, which leads to an inevitable ban.

Peters told the court the offence had been committed at 6.45pm that evening. 

"The date is significant," he said. 

"At 6.30pm, it is a matter of public record, the Queen's death was announced on the radio. 

"I was upset. I was distracted and I missed the (speed limit) sign. 

"I was born in the 1960s, the Queen was part of my life."

Worcester News: ANNOUNCEMENT: Queen Elizabeth II death was announced on September 8, 2022ANNOUNCEMENT: Queen Elizabeth II death was announced on September 8, 2022 Peters added he knew he had nine points on his licence and had been careful with his speed prior to that moment.

After a short discussion on the magistrates bench the chairman, Russell Williams, said it had caused a debate between them so they had decided to go to the retiring room for more open discussion. 

Returning 10 minutes later, magistrates gave Peters the three points. 

Worcester News: SPEEDING: Andrew Peters was caught speeding on the M5SPEEDING: Andrew Peters was caught speeding on the M5

Peters returned to the witness box to further argue 'exceptional hardship,' where you put forward a case that a ban would cause you or others dependent on you significant hardship. 

The defendant told the court he owned a consultancy business, paying himself £60,000 a year, and said a ban would make life difficult and impact him financially. 

MOST READ: Slug and Lettuce owners explain why pub is closed

MOST READ: Parking ticket chaos as shoppers and traders blast new rules and £60 fines

But he conceded: "I don't want to over-catastrophize.

"No one is relying on me (to be able to drive) - I want to be honest about that."

Worcester News: CASE: Andrew Peters travelled from Scotland for his case at Worcester Magistrates CourtCASE: Andrew Peters travelled from Scotland for his case at Worcester Magistrates Court

After another short discussion, the chairman announced Peters would be banned for six months saying they had not found exceptional hardship in his case.

"If you drive whilst disqualified you could be sent to custody," the chairman warned. 

Peters was fined £384 and ordered to pay victim surcharge of £154. He was given 28 days to pay the total of £538. 

At 6.30pm on September 8 an official notice announcing Queen Elizabeth II's death was posted outside Buckingham Palace.

The announcement of the death of the UK's longest-serving monarch interrupted broadcasts on television and radio.