A THAI restaurant manager, who ran up four speeding convictions on the same stretch of road in five weeks, has failed to overturn the resulting driving ban.

Chusak Phetmalaikul was given a six-month driving disqualification by magistrates in Peterlee, in June, after totting up a total of 15 penalty points for the four speeding offences.

Between August 3 and September 6 last year he was recorded driving in his Renault vehicle at speeds of between 57 and 74-miles per hour on a stretch of the A1(M), near Durham, which was subject to a temporary 50-mph speed restriction at the time.

All four offences were committed in the early hours as he was driving to his home in Darlington after tallying the takings and locking up at the Thai River restaurant, of which he is the manager, in Durham city centre.

Appealing against the disqualification, at Durham Crown Court, Michele Turner, for Phetmalaikul, claimed it would cause him, “exceptional hardship”.

She said the appellant is the sole wage earner in a family with three children. While his job was not at risk due to the ban, it would pose difficulties getting home from the restaurant, given the hours he works, while he often has to drive to pick up kitchen supplies for the business.

Miss Turner said he also does the “school run” as well as taking his children to sporting commitments in which they are involved.

She said the appellant is co-director of a Darlington-based snooker academy and he often gives lifts to take the aspiring players to events.

Judge Jonathan Carroll, sitting with magistrate Colin Hillary, said: “The reality is that there’ll have been a big sign up, saying: ‘Temporary Speed Limit in Operation’, and that was not a fib.”

Miss Turner replied that a ban on her client would pose exceptional hardship to “innocent third parties” who rely on him for lifts.

But, Judge Carroll said: “These points on his licence were acquired over a few weeks last year.

“The appeal is not against the award of those points, but simply on the exceptional hardship it is said the ban would cause.

“Losing a driving licence can be extremely inconvenient, but that doesn’t amount to exceptional hardship.

“It may be a significant inconvenience, but one which the appellant has brought on his own head.”

Dismissing the appeal, he ordered Phetmalaikul to pay the £330 costs of the hearing.