Shock and anger as motorcyclist is clocked doing 142mph on A47
PUBLISHED: 08:25 29 November 2016 | UPDATED: 14:50 29 November 2016
A motorcyclist who was clocked speeding at 142mph on the A47 has sparked outrage among road safety campaigners who said he should have been banned for 10 years.
Simon Hackett, 45, was riding his Honda CBR 1000 motorbike at 142mph on the A47 – which has a 70mph limit – at Terrington St John, near King’s Lynn.
Yesterday at Norwich Magistrates’ Court, defence lawyer Michael Cole claimed Hackett’s offence was a “burst of youthful joie de vivre on a sunny summer’s day”, which drew an angry response from a mother whose son died in a crash 14 years ago.
Bridget Wall, from Downham Market, has campaigned for road safety charities Brake and RoadPeace since the death of her only son Adam, 24, in a crash on the A47 at Wisbech in November 2002.
She said of Hackett’s actions: “It’s disgusting. I’m disgusted with the speed.
“It’s about time people learned they were not the only ones on the road.
“If people want to race they can on a track, but don’t endanger other people’s lives.”
Responding to Mr Cole’s comments, she added: “It’s just outrageous to make a joke out of speeding.”
Meanwhile, Peter Jermy, 66, whose 16-year-old daughter Lisa was killed by a drink-driver who had also been speeding following a crash on Magdalen Road, Norwich, in 2006, said it was “ridiculous” and insisted he should have been banned for 10 years not just 60 days.
He said: “Doing that sort of speed on a motorbike he is endangering his own life but if he hit someone he would kill them outright.”
Hackett, of Arles Avenue, Wisbech, was caught by a police officer using a handheld laser device on August 21 this year.
The self-employed carpenter was yesterday handed a 60-day driving ban, fined £250, ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge after previously admitting the offence.
Mr Cole, mitigating for Hackett, said the incident had “concentrated his mind”.
Hackett was riding home from Hunstanton when he was caught speeding by police.
Mr Cole added: “He fully accepts that as he came to the Church Road flyover he opened the bike up to see what he could do and for about 30 seconds was doing 142mph.
“At that point a police car was parked on the Church Road flyover, locked on to him with a laser and went in pursuit after him. He says after the momentary blip he went back down to 70mph.”
Hackett, who had been riding motorbikes since 1989, was stopped by police at a mini-roundabout about two miles from where he was seen speeding on the motorbike, the court heard.
Mr Cole said: “I’ve suggested to him perhaps it would be a good thing to sell that bike, grow old gracefully and put that temptation out of reach.
“There’s no report that anyone else was put at risk, though by virtue of the speed you could say he was putting himself at risk.”
He suggested to magistrates that to disqualify Hackett would cause him exceptional hardship as a result of the loss of employment and the impact it would have on his partner.
But Howard Gill, chairman of the bench, said the speed Hackett was doing meant there was “no alternative” but to disqualify him for 60 days, which took into account the defendant’s guilty plea.
According to Sentencing Council guidelines, magistrates can impose a driving ban of seven to 56 days for speeding offences of up to 110mph but a spokesman said there were no maximum periods of disqualification which would depend on the facts of the case.
The maximum fine that can be imposed for speeding is £2,500.