A father has spent nearly £30 000 (approx. R543 778) of his sons’ inheritance in a doomed three-year legal battle to overturn a £100 (approx. R1 812) speeding fine.
Richard Keedwell, 71, claims he was wrongly clocked doing 35pmh in a 30mph zone and has appeared before magistrates four times and taken an appeal to the crown court.
But a judge has now rejected his case, leaving the retired engineer close to running out of options and money.
The saga began when his Nissan Qashqai was caught in 2016 by a camera on the A44 when he was on a day trip to Worcester.
"It was time to stand up," said Mr Keedwell. "People think 'Oh it must be right, it’s the Government'. Why shouldn’t you challenge? It’s the thin end of the wedge."
He was initially sent a notice of intended prosecution saying he had been speeding and asked him to confirm he was the driver.
Admitting guilt would have meant a fixed penalty notice of R1 812 and penalty points or the option of a speeding awareness course.
Mr Keedwell, who had a clean licence, admitted to being at the wheel but asked to see photos proving he was speeding.
These did not appear and he was sent a single justice procedure notice on which he wrote ‘No case to answer’ before returning it. Mr Keedwell claims he was then convicted without his knowledge and ordered to pay a £220 (approx R3 987) fine, £30 (R543) victim surcharge £85 (R1 540) court costs.
"It wasn’t right. It smacked of being a kangaroo court," said the father-of-three, of Yate, Gloucestershire.
He went back repeatedly before magistrates to contest the conviction, claiming the speed camera could have been faulty or set off by another car.
He insisted: "I’m 71 – why would I want to tailgate the car in front like a boy racer?" Keedwell admits his £28 000 (R507 526) in legal fees plus court and travel costs have eaten into money earmarked for his sons aged 42 and twins, 37.
"The eldest thinks I’m mad," he said. "He asked 'Why are you doing this?' I didn’t think it would cost this much."
Keedwell, who lives in a four-bedroom detached home with his sons and wife Pamela, has asked for a transcript of last month’s ruling at Worcester Crown Court, saying he could not hear it properly.
He will consult his solicitor to see if he will fight on, possibly with a High Court appeal.