Ban for A23 driver who reached speeds of more than 100mph

A driver who sped along the A23 at more than 100mph was said by police to have ‘posed a serious threat’ to other road users.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 2:56 pm

But a jury found Richard Freshwater not guilty of dangerous driving when he appeared at Chichester Crown Court.

He was found guilty, instead, of driving without due care and attention and was banned from driving for three months, fined £1,000 and given six penalty points on his licence.

Police said that Freshwater was seen undertaking and overtaking other traffic at ‘excessive speed’ on the A23 at Warninglid on March 17 last year.

PC Mark Stoner, on an unmarked police motorcycle, followed and stopped Freshwater, who said he was trying to get to work in Manor Royal, Crawley, to chair a national meeting ahead of the Covid lockdown.

Freshwater, 46, a store manager, of Hawkins Road, Shoreham, was arrested and appeared in court on April 9.

Speaking after the verdict, PC Stoner said: “Richard Freshwater posed a serious and considerable risk to other road users on the morning in question.

“Had any of those unsuspecting drivers decided to change lane or brake for whatever reason, a collision would have been unavoidable due to the speed and manner which Freshwater chose to drive at.

“It could have been a very different outcome that morning, and it is only by luck that a collision didn’t occur and that nobody was seriously injured.”

The judge praised PC Stoner for his bravery and dedication in protecting the public from the risk posed by Freshwater.

PC Stoner added: “Speeding and careless driving are two of the five most common causes of fatal and serious injuries on our roads, along with drink/drug-driving, mobile phone use and not wearing a seatbelt.

“These are referred to as the ‘fatal five’ offences for a reason.”