Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ex-Police Chief's Court Case Dropped

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ex-Police Chief's Court Case Dropped

Article excerpt

Byline: By Dave Black

A court case against a former North-East police chief and Government adviser has been dropped after he was unable to say who was driving his car when it was allegedly caught speeding.

Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate ( a former chief superintendent with Durham Police and a special adviser to the Home Secretary ( appeared before magistrates in December accused of failing to supply information to the police.

It followed an alleged speeding offence in Gateshead in which the Labour peer's BMW was said to have been caught by a speed camera doing 45mph on a 30mph limit stretch of road.

Lord Mackenzie said he was not driving the car at the time, but he was summonsed to appear in court for failing to supply information as to the identity of the driver.

The summons alleged that between April 6 and May 4 last year, being the keeper of the vehicle, he failed to supply the driver's identity to the chief officer of police.

Two months ago he appeared in person at Bedlington Magistrates' Court to enter a not guilty plea and the case was listed for trial today. Yesterday, it was revealed that the proceedings have been discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service.

It is understood that Lord Mackenzie was out of the country at the time of the alleged speeding offence. He has told police that a number of people could have been driving the car at the time it was clocked.

He says he has made enquiries to try to establish who the driver was, but has been unable to do so. It is also understood he has subsequently taken measures to keep better records of who is driving his car and when.

Yesterday, a CPS spokeswoman said: "Lord Mackenzie was summonsed for this offence by the fixed penalty unit. When a CPS lawyer reviewed the evidence she asked police to make further enquiries and it then became clear there was insufficient evidence to allow the case to continue. …

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