Thursday, 9 September 2010

Sir Ranulph Fiennes: road menace

Another very dangerous driver gets the kid glove treatment from Britain’s car-centric Crown Prosecution Service and judicial system:

At Stockport Magistrates Court, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, 66, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention.

[He fell asleep at the wheel after choosing to drive in a condition of extreme fatigue. This was a deliberate choice on his part, so a charge of dangerous driving would have been far more appropriate.]

His vehicle swerved on to the opposite carriageway and hit a Nissan Micra driven by Luigi Castaldo, who was travelling with his 10-year-old son.

The force of the collision shunted the Micra backwards into another car and it then flipped into the air and landed on its roof, the court was told.

Mr Castaldo spent two months in hospital and then was off work for several more. He had lost some mobility in his left knee and needs crutches to walk. He was also on medication for his pain and has suffered depression.

"His once active, busy family life has been completely altered."

Magistrates were told Fiennes had six penalty points for speeding offences committed in July 2007 and November 2007, although the former had since dropped off his licence.

A letter from the chief executive of the Marie Curie Foundation was handed to the bench on his behalf.

Fiennes was fined £1,000 and received four penalty points on his licence.


Road safety campaigners RoadPeace said the sentence was 'lenient' and called for tougher penalties against people who fall asleep at the wheel.

A spokesman said: 'They could have banned him.'

Earlier this year he was let off a 50mph speeding charge after officials mixed him up with his cousin, film star Ralph, on paperwork.

In 1994 he was banned for a week after being clocked at 103mph on the M4.

He has also been caught speeding on three other occasions.

However, the fawning Crown Prosecution Service takes the view that

He cannot be judged by the ordinary standards of a normal driver or human being.'