Spared by their bad memory! Retired couple, 73, are let off for speeding by magistrates because they couldn’t recall which of them was at the wheel of their car
- Mrs Fry, 73, was initially accused of doing 36mph in a 30mph zone in Dorset
- The couple told the court that they couldn’t remember who triggered the camera
- Mrs Fry says that they now keep a daily diary and have bought a second car
When it comes to driving, Barbara and Terry Fry had always tried to put safety first – sharing the duties during long journeys.
But it has caused them more trouble than it was worth after they set off a speeding camera and ended up in court because they could not remember who was at the wheel.
Mrs Fry, 73, was initially accused of doing 36mph in her Honda in a 30mph zone on a busy stretch of road at Winterbourne Abbas in Dorset.
The retired pharmaceutical sales trainer believes she and her husband, who is in remission with bowel cancer, were returning home from her sister’s house when she was caught out in April.
Barbara Fry, 73, (pictured with her husband Terry) was initially accused of doing 36mph in her Honda in a 30mph zone in Dorset
As soon as the ticket arrived, the couple contacted the court to explain that they could not remember who triggered the camera, as they will have changed seats as many as five times during the journey home to Shefford in Bedfordshire.
But a fortnight later a shocked and upset Mrs Fry was charged with a further offence of failing to inform police of the driver’s identity.
Now, after seven months with the charges hanging over them, the Frys were in court in Weymouth last week to hear that the case had at last been dropped.
But as a result of their ordeal, Mrs Fry says she and her husband now keep a daily diary, have bought a second car and use a limiter to control their speed.
After the case, Mrs Fry said: ‘I am so relieved this is all over. It’s been such a worrying time for both of us. I’ve lost sleep, we’ve had several arguments between us but now it’s done with.’
Former electrician Mr Fry, also 73, added: ‘It does seem ridiculous that we have had to wait all this time and come all this way to tell the magistrates what we have been saying all along – we honestly don’t know who was the wheel.’
As soon as the ticket arrived, the couple (pictured) contacted the court to explain that they could not remember who triggered the camera, as they will have changed seats as many as five times during the journey home to Shefford in Bedfordshire
During the hearing before Weymouth magistrates, Mrs Fry entered not guilty pleas to the two charges against her and the case was dropped.
The court clerk offered Mrs Fry a tissue as she broke down in tears at being told she was free to go without a blemish on her character. Prosecutor Stuart Sampson told magistrates: ‘Having spoken to Mrs Fry, we will not be proceeding with this case and I will explain why.
‘There is no dispute that the car was recorded doing 36mph. However, they have been unable to work out who it was who was driving at the point at which the offence occurred. They say they have done their best but they cannot be sure who it was.
‘Under Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 no offence is committed if it can be shown you have used due diligence in attempting to identify the driver. Some people do sometimes tell the truth.
‘I would not be able to show Mrs Fry has not shown due diligence in this case. And if we accept they cannot show who was driving when the speed camera was triggered then we cannot be sure who committed the offence.’
Outside court, Mrs Fry said: ‘I must admit my legs were like jelly in there and I feel very emotionally drained now.
‘I have only ever had a parking ticket once before in my life and Terry is as clean as a whistle.’ She added: ‘I still am not certain where we were going that day. I did my utmost from the outset to try to work out who was driving but I couldn’t.
‘I told the court that as soon as was practically possible and I was told that would be the end of the matter.
‘I know the law has finally been shown not to be an ass but why weren’t we listened to from the start? And why drag us all the way down here only to accept our version in the end?’