80mph driver narrowly avoids road ban
A teenager caught speeding at 80mph through a Mid Wales village just months after passing his test, has narrowly avoided losing his licence.
Ryan Jones passed his driving test just three months and one day after turning 17, he passed his tractor test at 16 and his trailer test in August 2018.
But the 18 year-old of Cwmafan, Llanafanfawr near Builth Wells was caught speeding through Newbridge-on-Wye at 80-85mph on September 13 last year.
He admitted speeding on a 60mph road when he appeared at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
Kevin Challinor, prosecuting, said that at about 11.45pm on September 13 a police officer was on duty and speed checked the Ford Fiesta being driven by Jones on the A470. He was travelling between 80 and 85mph in a 60mph zone.
Mitigating, Melanie Cumberland described Jones as ‘a young man of exceptional character’ despite the misjudgement that led to this offence.
She said he has no previous convictions and the conduct on this night was out of character.
Ms Cumberland said he had pleaded guilty and accepted responsibility immediately and had expressed genuine remorse.
She said his distress and embarrassment is compounded by the fact that he considers himself to be a good and careful driver. He passed his tractor test at 16 and now carries out all the machinery work on his grandparents’ farm.
“He realises that he has much to learn and he has signed up for a young drivers' course to teach young people about speed awareness and other necessary skills," she said.
“He is, otherwise, a mature, responsible, clean-living young man. He is a full time college student at Newtown but he also works seven days a week on the farm and he goes to the farm every morning to feed the livestock before he goes to college. He is a very hard-working young man.”
Ms Cumberland said Jones also does tractor driving for a local farmer and is a member of Builth Wells Rugby Club, where he is a senior player and looks after the kit and equipment.
She said that as a new driver, if six points were placed on Jones’ licence it would be revoked and it would have a severe effect on his family.
Jones’ grandfather had a serious accident in early December when he hit his head and elbow and is signed off for six months so Jones is now the main worker on the 300 acre farm, Ms Cumberland said.
Magistrates placed five points on his driving licence, fined him £100 and ordered him to pay a £32 surcharge and £85 costs.
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