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Top barrister denies he broke the law by using his phone

Top barrister denies he broke the law by using his phone while driving after he posted photo from inside his Tesla showing speedometer at 59mph

  • Barrister Dominic D’Souza posted a photo from inside his electric Tesla car 
  • Photo by Mr D’Souza looked as if could only have been taken from driver’s seat  
  • Mr D’Souza said that he was parked in a service station when the picture taken


A leading criminal barrister has denied he used his phone while driving.

Dominic D’Souza posted a photo from inside his electric Tesla car appearing to show he was travelling at 59mph.

There were no hands visible on the steering wheel. A Tesla can be driven on auto pilot but the driver should keep their hands on the wheel at all times.  

The photo posted by Mr D’Souza looked as if it could only have been taken from the driver’s seat with the digital dashboard of the vehicle clearly visible.

Mr D’Souza posted the photo on his LinkedIn page and captioned it: ‘On the way to Manchester in the most miserable weather, but thanks heavens I have an electric car otherwise I would not be getting there at all!’

Dominic D’Souza (pictured), a leading criminal barrister at Goldsmith Chambers in London, posted a photo from inside his electric Tesla car appearing to show he was travelling at 59mph

Many of the comments on the post congratulated him on having an electric car while thousands of motorists faced queuing for hours for petrol.

But Zain Ul-Haq, a cyber security consultant, wrote: ‘Please don’t use your phone whilst driving, autopilot or not, you need to remain in full control of your vehicle.’

Mr D’Souze brushed off any suggestion that he was driving when the photo was taken when he was contacted by MailOnline.

‘Absolutely not. I was parked in a service station,’ he said.

Asked if he could explain why the car speedometer appeared to show 59mph, he had no further comment.

Using a mobile phone while driving is a criminal offence punishable by a £200 fine and six points on a licence.

Road safety campaigners said he should be prosecuted if was driving when the picture was taken.

Alan Kennedy, Executive Director of Road Safety GB, said: ‘Taking a picture of the dashboard while driving is a really unsafe thing to do. You are clearly concentrating on your phone and not the road ahead.’

And Neil Greig, policy and research director at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, added: ‘Any hand-held use of a phone whilst driving is dangerous as you cannot be in full control of your car. 

‘If this sort of behaviour led to a crash the photographic evidence could be used against the driver and lead to an even more serious charge, fine or even imprisonment if anyone was injured.

‘We firmly believe that changes in behaviour need to be driven by re-education and punishment as one without the other isn’t effective. 

The photo posted by the barrister looked as if it could only have been taken from the driver's seat with the digital dashboard of the vehicle clearly visible

The photo posted by the barrister looked as if it could only have been taken from the driver’s seat with the digital dashboard of the vehicle clearly visible

Mr D'Souza, who posted the photo on his LinkedIn page, said he was parked in a service station when the picture was taken

Mr D’Souza, who posted the photo on his LinkedIn page, said he was parked in a service station when the picture was taken

‘We have seen this joint approach work with our Drink Driving Rehabilitation course. Learning about cause and effect so you don’t re-offend is more effective.’ 

Mr D’Souza is one of the country’s leading defence barristers and head of crime at Goldsmith Chambers in London.

Since being called to the Bar in 1993, he has carved out a fearsome reputation for his advocacy and represented several actors, sports professionals and musicians.

His biography on the Goldsmiths Chambers website reads: ‘Dominic is an exceptionally charismatic jury advocate and over his 25 years at the Bar has become well known for his powerful cross examinations and dramatic closing speeches.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk