147mph by ‘Jag’ driver

Owen Swift attends Scarborough Magistrates Court to face his speeding charge
Owen Swift attends Scarborough Magistrates Court to face his speeding charge

A SPEEDING motorist clocked at a “shocking” 147mph on the A64 has been banned.

Owen Swift, 68, was disqualified for nine months after flouting the 70mph limit in his £81,000 high-performance Jaguar XKR on the Malton Bypass in June last year.

Swift, from Dringhouses, near York, denied the charge, telling Scarborough Magistrates’ Court “there was not a scrap of evidence” he was on the road that day.

However, the court heard he was caught by police officers who tracked him on a laser speed gun from their marked Audi response car before giving chase at more than 100mph.

When officers eventually caught up with Swift near Cranbeck, he refused to get out of his car, which he had bought just three months earlier, or sign a police form indicating he would be prosecuted.

The court heard Swift, a company director for a manufacturing firm, had travelled to Scarborough earlier in the day to take part in a golf competition at North Cliff Golf Club.

After carrying out site visits in Whitby and Malton, he then set off home, telling the court he only joined the A64 after the Malton Bypass, adding his five-litre V8 engine was restricted and could not reach 147mph.

However, Traffic Sergeant John Clayton, who employed the speed gun on Swift, dismissed the claims.

He said: “He knew he had done wrong, he knew he was too fast. He knew the consequences and was trying to get me to reduce the speed.

“He said ‘you cannot have got me, you were on the other side and the crash barrier was between us’.

“He said ‘that is going to crease me, you could have given me a telling off - at my age it is my livelihood’.”

The court also heard officers noted a problem with a rear light on Swift’s car, which they said made it even more distinguishable and added to evidence putting him on the road.

Swift, who said he planned to retire to Spain, countered and said the police were wrong as he hadn’t turned his lights on due to the bright evening.

In an occasionally heated debate, Swift verbally jousted with prosecutor Jessica Strange, telling magistrates it was actually police officers who had driven erratically.

He said: “As I went over Cranbeck Hill I looked in my mirror and a police car was coming over the brow with everything going.

“He was all over the road, the car was going so fast it was swaying from side to side.

“You are making it up with nothing concrete. The police are totally incorrect.”

After sentencing Swift, chairman of the bench David Harrison said: “In my experience of nearly 30 years this is one of the highest I have experienced and is on a road that is not suitable for such speeds.

“We are sure that the correct car was stopped due to the distinctive identifying features and accept he continued to incriminate himself by saying a number of comments to police.

“He was extremely evasive under cross-examination and we are sure the version of the police officers is correct.”

Magistrates also fined Swift £700 with £650 costs.