Young driver fined and banned from driving for splashing school children

A car drives through a large paddle during heavy rainfalls in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, July 14, 2012. A weekend with rain and thunderstorms is forecasted for large parts of Germany. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

A young motorist has been fined £500 and received six penalty points on his licence for soaking a mother and her two children as they walked to school.
Samuel Lees, 22, will face a ban from driving as anyone who accrues six points in the first two years of holding a driving licence will have it revoked. Lees has been driving for just one year.

The court heard how Lees, from Colchester, rounded a bend 'at speed' and entered a large puddle, spraying water all over Debbie Pugh and her children David, eight, and Emma, 11, as they walked to school earlier this year.

PC Mark Hercules, who was following Lees at the time of the incident told the Daily Gazette: "The vehicle was driven through the puddle at a relatively fast speed making no attempt to slow down or avoid it.

"As a consequence, a large wave of water absolutely soaked the children and their parents. We could hear the screams from the children as they got drenched in the cold, dirty rainwater.

"The motorist drove off. Fortunately, I was able to witness the whole incident.

"His actions caused distress to the young children.

"In addition, I pointed out the hidden hazards that lie in large puddles and the fact he could have lost control of his vehicle and caused a danger to other road users."

But even the victim of this crime feels the punishment has been too harsh on the young driver.

Mrs Pugh, 48, told the Daily Mail: "I am very, very shocked by the punishment he has been given.

"I don't think that is fair at all. I think they must have wanted to make an example of him. But I think a slap on the wrist would have been sufficient.

"Perhaps he could have gone on a driver awareness course, but what he has got from the court is really quite harsh. I would not wish that fine on anybody."

Mr Lees told the court that losing his licence will likely lead to him losing his job as he uses his red VW Polo to travel the 25 miles from his home to work.

He defended himself, saying: "I did not mean to splash the family.

"I knew there was a police car behind me, so why would I do something like that on purpose when they were following?

"I turned round a corner and then went through the puddle and was spotted straight away.

"But if you ask anyone who knows me, I am not the kind of person to do something like that on purpose. That's not what I am like at all.

"It was one lapse of concentration and nothing more than that. People drive through puddles and people do get splashed – it's unavoidable unfortunately. It really is an everyday occurrence, so, yes, I do feel hard done by."

Chelmsford magistrates ordered Lees to pay £90 court costs and a £50 victim surcharge on top of his £500 fine, as well as endorsing his licence with six points.
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