A MAN caught speeding for a fourth time has been banned from getting behind the wheel after speeding on the M5. 

Nicholas Smith failed to persuade city magistrates there were exceptional hardship reasons in his case to avoid a ban.

At the start of the hearing the court clerk put the offence of exceeding a variable speed limit - automatic camera device -  to Smith, which he admitted. 

Worcester News: BANNED: Nicholas Smith leaving Worcester Magistrates CourtBANNED: Nicholas Smith leaving Worcester Magistrates Court (Image: Sam Greenway/Newsquest)

Andy Saunders, prosecuting, told the court that just after midnight on July 17 last year there had been a variable speed limit in force to 40 mph on the M5 for around 30 minutes. 

The prosecutor said Saunders was clocked by a speed camera driving a Peugeot at 73mph in the zone. 

The court clerk informed magistrates the 47-year-old had nine penalty points, following a speeding offence in 2020, and two in 2021.

Worcester News: CASE: Smith appeared at Worcester Magistrates CourtCASE: Smith appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court It was explained to magistrates the inevitable points he would receive for the offence would make him a totter, as he would have a total above the limit of 12, and a disqualification from driving.

Smith told magistrates at the time of the offence he had been working and was on his way home to Lucys Drive, Newcastle, near Staffordshire. 

Smith said: "I couldn't understand why the signs were up, there was nothing on the road. 

"I have no excuse. 

"I was slow to react - maybe because of the time (of the day). I can't explain it."

Worcester News: CAUGHT: Smith was caught speeding on the M5CAUGHT: Smith was caught speeding on the M5 (Image: Newsquest)

In the witness box, the dad-of-two then argued exceptional hardship in his case including mentioning his ill relatives and the potential for the loss of work meaning he could lose his home. 

But after a lengthy deliberation of the magistrates chairman of the bench Barbara Broadhurst announced they had rejected all his reasons. 

The chairman told Smith there were alternative ways relatives could get to medical appointments and his employer had not said it was certain he would lose the job.

"There may well be hardship and a lot of inconvenience but not exceptional hardship," the chairman added. 

Smith was disqualified from driving for six months being warned that applied from the moment he left Courtroom 2 of Worcester Magistrates Court on Wednesday afternoon, (January 17). 

Smith was also fined £661, ordered to pay £264  victim surcharge and costs of £110. 

The defendant was given 28 days to pay the total of £1,035.