A FORMER council leader who campaigned to have speed cameras installed on a busy road was today (DEC 4) disqualified from driving after being caught speeding in the same place.
Councillor Ken Lupton, the former leader of Stockton Borough Council who also ran for the role of Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner in November’s elections, was driving his BMW with personalised number plates along Darlington Road in Stockton on May 29 when he was caught going 35mph in a 30mph zone.
The councillor, who pleaded guilty but claimed there were mitigating circumstances when he appeared at Teesside Magistrate’s Court, said it was “ironic” he had been caught speeding on Darlington Road.
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He said: “Ironically, I had just put out a news letter to residents outlining the fact that we were asking for cameras to be put in Darlington Road because of excessive speed there.”
In mitigation, he said that he had been driving over the speed limit because his 91-year-old father, who suffers from dementia, had been found wandering in the streets by a neighbour and his mother could not be contacted.
According to Coun Lupton, she had recently suffered a number of falls and he became concerned when she could not be reached.
He said he believed he had been responding to an emergency and added: “My parents are both 91, elderly and frail and I am their main carer. My father has dementia and in the past 12 months he has wandered a number of times, requiring police to find him. It would be very difficult for me to carry out that caring role if I lost my licence.”
Due to already having nine points on his licence, Coun Lupton, 66, was handed a six month driving ban under totting up rules.
He said: “I am disappointed. I hoped they would take into account my exceptional circumstances with being a carer for my elderly parents but I have to accept the judgement of the courts.”