18th Jul, 2019

Rubery couple slam 'extortionate' £2,500 speeding fine after labour hospital dash

Lorna Morris 2nd May, 2018 Updated: 2nd May, 2018

A RUBERY man has been handed a £2,500 fine and six points after he was caught speeding on the M5 trying to reach the hospital in time for his wife to give birth.

Mum-of-three Laura Baker was in labour with contractions two minutes apart and was ready to push when she was being driven to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital by her husband Louis on April 14.

He was caught by speed cameras between junction 5 and 6 on the M5 allegedly, clocking 101mph.

Laura had faced medical issues during her pregnancy and suffered complications when she reached the hospital to give birth to her son Ellis.

The 26-year-old said: “Our baby could have lost his life and I could have lost mine, so my husband was doing everything he could to make sure we were safe.

“We knew from the scans that unfortunately the baby appeared to have shown no growth from last measurements at 36 weeks and there was lack of amniotic fluid around the baby.

“It was imperative the baby be born at a hospital as we didn’t know what medical needs the baby may have.

“I also have Group B Strep which could’ve been fatal to the baby if he got the infection.

“I ended up being rushed to theatre after having Ellis due to suffering complications of how quick the labour was and he had to receive oxygen because he wasn’t breathing properly.”

Shocked by the fine, the couple have appealed to West Mercia Police Camera Ticket Office over the penalty which they say is ‘extortionate’.

They are currently awaiting a court date.

“I am not disputing the fact we were speeding and we will pay a fine but we think the punishment is too extreme based on the circumstances,” said Laura.

“We are hoping when it goes to court the judge will understand our situation.”

According to the RAC, the couple’s fine comes under Band C level which, for driving 101mph and higher in a 70mph zone. It can lead to disqualification from seven to 56 days or six points and 150 per cent of relevant weekly income.

The magistrate can fine anywhere within a range of 25 per cent on either side of that figure, meaning serious offenders could face a fine of 175 per cent their weekly income.

This fine, however, is capped at £1,000, rising to £2,500 if you caught on a motorway.

A spokesperson from Safer Roads Partnership said: “Due to the speed involved this case has been referred directly to the Magistrates Court.

“The independent magistrates will take into account any mitigation presented when determining their decision on the matter.”

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