Ely Businessman Escapes A Driving Ban

BUSINESSMAN John Cherrie escaped a driving ban this week, after telling magistrates that he needed his licence to run his company. Cherrie, 50, of Stour Green of Ely, had admitted using his phone while at the wheel of a car – the call had lasted more tha

BUSINESSMAN John Cherrie escaped a driving ban this week, after telling magistrates that he needed his licence to run his company.

Cherrie, 50, of Stour Green of Ely, had admitted using his phone while at the wheel of a car - the call had lasted more than five minutes.

With nine points already on his licence, Cherrie - who sells farmed fish to supermarkets -- could have been banned from driving for six months under the "totting up" procedure that comes into effect when a motorist collects 12 more points.

Prosecutor Scheherazade Haque told Fenland magistrates that Cherrie was driving a black Polo on March 26, when a police officer noticed he was holding a phone to his right ear with his right hand. He could not be given a fixed penalty, because he already had nine points on his licence for three speeding offences.

In the witness box at Wisbech courthouse, Cherrie said he was driving his daughter's car when he committed the offence; his own car has a hands free kit.

He was using the phone to sort out the transportation of fish when police in an unmarked car stopped him.

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"It was a natural instinct to answer the phone for my business," he said.

Cherrie, was fined £200 with £35 costs and a £15 surcharge.