Hefty fine for woman who tried to pin speeding ticket on ex

Ex was out of the country at the time

Updated: 
Ms Ward and her new husband.
(Teresa Ward pictured with current husband, Colin McGregor)

A wealthy businesswoman has been made an example of by a judge after trying to pin a speeding ticket on her ex-husband.

Teresa Ward, 61, was clocked driving her Mercedes at 38 miles per hour in a 30mph zone in Danbury, Essex, in 2014. If she'd admitted the offence, she'd have been fined just £100.

However, instead, she has now been found guilty of perverting the course of justice - and given a four-month suspended sentence and an order to pay a £10,000 fine and £4,500 in costs.

After being clocked by the speed camera, Ward, the registered owner of the car, was sent a notice of intended prosecution. But when returning the form she claimed the car was being driven by her ex-husband, one Mr Hill, and signed with a false signature.

It later emerged that Mr Hill was abroad at the time of the offence.

Ward is the owner of Boreham House in Essex and also owns a luxury wedding venue, Vaulty Manor in Maldon, Essex, as well as a 19th century chateau in France.

However, according to the Daily Mail, her lawyer claimed that she's short of cash.

"She has £26,300 disposable income and her total savings are £20,839," he told Chelmsford Crown Court.

"Her husband died when she was in her 30s and she was left to bring up her two children. She was a workaholic. The break up with her ex-partner was acrimonious and she is now happily remarried."

But, at sentencing, Judge Christopher Ball said he intended to make an example of her.

"A lot end up in the dock at the crown court because they told a little lie to begin with to avoid the consequences of a minor traffic infringement. When people won't come clean, they dig themselves in deeper and deeper and that's what you have done," he said.

"We have to take the opportunity of making examples out of people. You implicated Mr Hill in part of a vendetta because of an acrimonious break up."

There aren't many ways of getting out of a speeding ticket. You can claim (like Ward) that someone else was driving, or that they've got the wrong car, that you were actually within the limit, or that there wasn't proper notice of the limit.

However, this is generally very difficult to do. If you claim someone else was driving, for example, it will need to be someone insured to drive the car; otherwise, you could be in even more trouble.

Safety cameras are carefully calibrated, so unless you were just a fraction over the limit, you're unlikely to be able to claim you were in the clear.

And to appeal on the grounds that signs were obscured, you'll need photographs to back up your case.

Cars most likely to be caught speeding

Cars most likely to be caught speeding


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