Woman banned from driving after speeding in the Cotswolds
By Court reporter | 31st January 2023
Film star Sir Michael Caine's daughter has failed to avoid a six months driving ban despite claiming that any disqualification would affect her ability to help care for her famous 89 year old father.
Dominiqiue Caine, 65, of Oakwood Lodge, Fossebridge, near Cirencester, received the ban at Cheltenham Magistrates Court on Monday (January 30) after she admitted speeding in a Range Rover on the A436 in the Cotswolds on May 3, 2022.
She was caught doing 64mph in a 50mph zone at Lineover Wood - between Seven Springs and Shipton Sollars, Gloucestershire - and the minimum three penalty points imposed on her licence took her to 12, making her liable to a six months ban under the 'totting up' rules.
Despite her plea that a ban would make it more difficult to get to London to see her father, and that it would hit a struggling horse eventing business in which she is involved, district judge Nicholas Wattam imposed the full six months ban.
He also fined her £200 plus costs of £90 and a surcharge of £34.
Ms Caine's relationship to one of Britain's best known and most successful actors emerged during the hearing when the judge looked at a letter of support from her stepmother, Shakira Caine. (Dominique is the daughter of Sir Michael's marriage to his first wife, Patricia Haines, between 1955 and 1962.)
Judge Wattam asked defence lawyer James Findon "Are we dealing with a famous name? I have a number of letters of support from Shakira Caine. Therefore, are we talking about Sir Michael?"
Mr Findon replied: "We are."
Judge Wattam pointed out: "So money isn't really an issue with this family?"
Mr Findon replied: "The issue isn't financial. The issue is the flexibility with which she is able to assist in providing care for her father.
"She provides care to her father, who is based in London. If she was deprived of her ability to drive it would necessitate the use of three trains and two buses. The travel time would be in excess of eight hours."
He said Ms Caine also needed to be able to drive so she can continue to help a woman who is struggling to run an eventing business. The business owner believes that without Ms Caine's help and input she wouldn't not be able to keep afloat, he said.
Judge Wattam said "The only way that somebody with 12 or more points on their driving licence who wants to avoid being banned is to demonstrate that exceptional hardship will be caused. Inconvenience and difficulties surrounding a driving ban do not amount to exceptional hardship."
Mr Findon stated: "I think the effect on the eventing business would be exceptional for the lady, who may struggle to keep it going. The loss of Ms Caine's help and support will affect the people who have horses at the stables, and ultimately affect her ability to pay her bills."
Judge responded: "I accept that a driving ban may have an impact, but it does not demonstrate exceptional hardship. What about the use of taxis? "
Mr Findon replied: "It would be impossible to try and get to and from the stables by taxi. These journeys would be at sporadic times, and being in a rural location, it's not a realistic option.
"Additionally if Ms Caine is travelling to an event at the weekend this would not in fact work. The taxi driver would not hang around all day."
The judge then suggested that Ms Caine could employ a driver. Mr Findon said that was something he and Ms Caine had discussed.
"Drivers these days are a scarcity, especially when dealing with unusual and anti-social hours," he said. "Ms Caine is at the stables at 6am and is still there at 10pm so, again, the driver is not going to wait around all day. It just wouldn't work."
After retiring to read all the documentation provided by the defence in support of Ms Caine's plea not to be disqualified for the mandatory six months, Judge Wattam told her that she had a bad driving record and already had nine penalty points on her licence.
Judge Wattam said: "You pleaded guilty to speeding at 64mph in a 50mph zone and you will be fined £200 for this."
"Your driving licence will be endorsed with three penalty points which, because you already have nine points recorded on it, makes you a 'totter' for which you have to be banned from driving.
"I am unable to find exceptional hardship in your case and therefore I must disqualify you from driving for the next six months."
*The charge which Ms Caine admitted was brought by Gloucestershire County Council under sections 84 and 89(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and Schedule 2 to the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. It said that on May 3rd 2022 she drove a Landrover RangeRover, registration XX 04 NKY on the A436 at Lineover Wood, between Seven Springs and Shipton Solers , which was subject to a local traffic order - namely the Gloucestershire County Council (A436 Air Valloon, Shipton Soler4s, 50mph speed limit Order 2000 at a speed exceeding 50mph.
She had pleaded guilty to that charge on November 15, 2022, and had then been summoned to court hearing to show cause why she should not be disqualified under the totting up regulations.
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