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Speeding pensioner fined for doing 29mph

Speeding pensioner fined for doing 29mph

Friday 15 November 2019

Speeding pensioner fined for doing 29mph

Driving at nine miles an hour over the limit has cost a Jersey man more than £500 after he challenged the speeding charge all the way up to the Magistrates Court, after telling the Centenier: "we were better off when the Germans were here."

75-year-old Marcel Kermin was stopped in the 20 mile-an-hour zone near St. Mary's school during the summer; he didn't deny speeding, saying he had no idea how fast he was driving.

Despite accepting the charge against him, Kermin said the Centenier who stopped him had spoken to him abruptly, and he then felt bullied when he appeared at a Parish Hall Enquiry, and was told he could face alternate charges of careless driving or dangerous driving; so he decided to challenge it, taking his case all the way to the Magistrate's Court where he defended himself during a short trial.


Pictured: Kermin was fined £120 and ordered to pay £400 costs when he contested a speeding charge at the Magistrate's Court. 

It was 13 August, when Kermin was driving along La Verte Rue in St Mary. The road has a speed limit of 20mph.

The duty Centenier had just come on duty and was stationed outside the school, with a handheld speed detection gun. He noticed a black car coming along the road, heading towards St. Ouen, which he thought was travelling faster than 20mph.

The Centenier activated his speed gun, which recorded a speed of 29mph, and he stopped the driver.

The court was shown footage from the Centenier's body worn camera, which showed his conversation with Kermin, who told the Centenier: "We were better off when the Germans were here."


Pictured: Kermin was fined for driving at 9mph over the speed limit along La Verte Rue, St Mary. 

During the court hearing, Prosecutor Simon Crowder asked the Centenier how often speed guns are calibrated and tested. He was told they are calibrated annually and tested at the start and end of each shift. The speed gun used in this case had been calibrated on 16 July and tested at 16:47 on the afternoon of 13 August, just 11 minutes before Kermin drove past. 

Kermin asked the Centenier why he didn't stop the two cars driving along La Verte Rue in front of him, repeatedly stating that they must have also been speeding if he was. The Centenier said it was his vehicle which caught his attention as it was "rapidly catching them (the other two cars) up."

Kermin also told the court he wasn’t shown the speed gun – but Magistrate Bridget Shaw said that isn't a legal requirement, although the body-worn camera footage proved the Centernier had held the speed gun forward for Kermin to see the reading, even if he hadn't looked at it.

"I was a bit annoyed when he let the other two go and stopped me," he said, "and I found him a bit abrupt so I was a bit abrupt towards him.


Pictured: The speed limit on La Verte Rue is 20mph but Kermin was found guilty of driving at 29mph. 

Magistrate Shaw said after hearing the evidence from the Centenier and seeing the body worn camera footage, as well as hearing evidence from Kermin himself, she was confident in the evidence provided by the prosecution.

"I've no doubt it was you driving," she said, "I've no doubt you were driving on the public road. You have not given any evidence you were driving at a lower speed. You simply don’t know.

"You haven’t been able to give any evidence to undermine the evidence given by the officer, so I find you guilty."

As Kermin had no convictions for speeding or anything else in recent years, he was treated as a man of previously good character. As he pleaded not guilty he had to pay a higher fine, of £120, along with the prosecution's costs of £400.

He was not disqualified from driving. 

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Posted by John Henwood on
Let this be a lesson to all those motorists who dare to enter the People's Republic of St Mary.
Posted by John Smith on
Fancy speeding like that near a school. Oh wait, the school was closed at that time. Jobsworth.
Posted by nigel pearce on
It is ridiculous that this road is still kept at 20mph now it has had a pedestrian walkway constructed behind a banked wall. The best speed controls are those yellow boards that have a flashing 20mph limit at specific times in the vicinity of schools.
Posted by Philip Hudson on
29mph big fine maybe the pensioner has a point with his comment ... jersey what is it coming to. SAD really.
Posted by Paul Troalic on
Frankly I am getting increasingly p****d off with our speed limits. No one can categorically say what the speed limit is on a particular road. Some roads have several speed limits. This is all done to confuse in my view. Why not change the speed limit to 30mph everywhere like Guernsey then there’s no argument unless the speed gun or the speedometer is poorly calibrated. I agree with sentiments of the pensioner it’s getting worse not better than when the Island was occupied.
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