Solicitor in the dock

CRIMINAL lawyer Michael Judkins, who defends speeding drivers in Ely, has landed in court fighting to save his own driving licence. Judkins, 51, a partner and head of litigation at the city s Archer and Archer solicitors, pleaded wit

CRIMINAL lawyer Michael Judkins, who defends speeding drivers in Ely, has landed in court fighting to save his own driving licence.

Judkins, 51, a partner and head of litigation at the city's Archer and Archer solicitors, pleaded with magistrates that his business and his marriage would suffer if he were banned from driving.

He was caught by a speed camera driving at 39mph in a 30mph zone and faced a six month ban because he already had nine points on his driving licence following three previous speeding convictions.

But magistrates took pity on Judkins of The Wyches, Little Thetford deciding he would suffer unnecessary hardship if he were to lose his licence. Now, however, he will be driving with 12 points.


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Judkins, who is a past president and health and safety and club protection officer of Ely Hereward Rotary Club, was caught speeding in London Road, Leicester on August 26 last year at around 7pm as he was going out for a meal.

On Thursday he appeared before Market Harborough Magistrates Court where he admitted speeding.

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He told the court he had accelerated momentarily to pass a car which had slowed down suddenly in front of him.

Pleading to keep his licence, Judkins told magistrates: "Any driving ban could put my marriage under severe pressure because of our workloads."

He said that his wife, Barbara, is also a lawyer at Archer and Archer in Ely's Market Place and they needed to take their children to school and other activities.

He said he was the company's only criminal lawyer and represented clients in courts in Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury and at all hours at Cambridge Police Station as part of a rota system.

"I need to get there within 45 minutes and a taxi would be impractical," he said.

Judkins added that a ban would also make it difficult to make frequent visits to his infirm parents in Oadby near Leicester.

Mitigating Miss Azza Brown said Judkins had been driving for 31 years and held a clean licence until October 2003.

But in that month and December 2004 and January 2006 he clocked up speeding convictions.

Magistrate Albert Pearce said the court had listened long and hard to his reasons to avoid a ban.

"Globally, with particular reference to your work and parents, we believe a ban would cause you undue hardship," he said.

Judkins was warned he would not be able to use the same reasons to avoid a ban again.

He was fined £250 and ordered to pay £35 costs, which he settled immediately. A further three points were imposed on his licence.

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