A three-company director was caught driving at 119mph in his brand new luxury BMW, but then groaned in court that he was too broke to bring taxis to his local gym if banned from conduct. Dean Crawford was caught speeding soon after buying the M135i XDrive Auto.
Despite owning a car worth around £37,000, Crawford, 42, a director of several businesses including a waste disposal business and a shutter repair business, remained adamant on the fact that he would not sell the vehicle to free up funds for travel expenses if prohibited. Instead he pleaded with magistrates for ”exceptional hardship”, saying he needed the BMW as he was on benefits and could not afford to pay taxis to get to the gymnasium and also for visits to see his mother and daughter.
Magistrates dismissed the businessman’s appeal for clemency after prosecutor Matt Routly advised him: “You still have that BMW. You could sell this and it would raise a lot of funds? It could pay quite a few taxis and buy you a bike. That’s very often the price people have to pay when they’re speeding all the time.”
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Crawford, who now lives in Blackburn, had recently taken delivery of the car when he was clocked driving almost 50mph over the limit on November 21 last year. He already had nine points on his license – two for speeding and the other for breaking a traffic light.
But Crawford, who once owned a Mercedes AMG and an Audi, told the court he suffered from various health conditions and was temporarily paralyzed for a year after being stabbed in the spine in 2014.
After a period of physical therapy he has since regained the use of his legs but says he cannot walk far and still needs to go to the gym daily both for his fitness and to help his Mental Health. He claimed he was on benefits and therefore would not be able to go to the gym or see his family as often as he needed to.
When asked why he couldn’t just sell his car, he replied, “A driving ban would expire after six months and then I wouldn’t have a car. I don’t work,” he said. “I’m on benefits for people with health problems.
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Crawford said he gets £975 a month in handouts but has to pay £345 in rent and when asked how to get to the gym he said: “It’s in the middle of nowhere leaves in an industrial area. I would have to take a taxi to the bus stop, then a bus and the same on the way back. I could only do it once a week because of the price.
Asked about using trains and buses to see his mum who lives in Blackley, he said: “I would take taxis, trains and buses. I could probably only afford to go once a week.”
When asked if he would be able to visit his nine-year-old daughter without the car, he replied: ‘I couldn’t see her’, then explained the multiple trains and taxis he would have to to take. He confirmed he ran a business, but said he had a breakdown during lockdown and claimed the only thing he owned now was his BMW.
During the hearing, Mr Routly first checked with the magistrates that they were fully aware of the speed at which Crawford was driving before asking him if he could use taxis and public transport. Refusing the request, the magistrates banned Crawford from driving for six months, fined him £120 and made him pay £136 in costs and a victim surcharge.
Bench chair Christina Hills said: “We have considered everything very carefully. We do not believe there are sufficient grounds on this occasion to grant a disqualification rule waiver on the basis of exceptional hardship. .”
Crawford now plans to appeal the ban to a Crown Court judge. The period of disqualification was suspended pending the next hearing.