Duke of Rutland hit with driving ban and fine for multiple speeding offences

Court news.
Court news.

Belvoir Castle owner the Duke of Rutland has been barred from motoring after amassing double the amount of points needed to be banned from the roads.

Northallerton Magistrates’ Court heard the 11th Duke of Rutland, one of the wealthiest aristocrats in Britain whose homes include Grade I listed Belvoir Castle and Haddon Hall in Derbyshire, had been caught speeding on four separate occasions between March and November last year.

Magistrates were told the noble, whose name was given in court as David Charles Rutland, had driven a Land Rover Discovery through a 50mph restricted speed section of the A1 between Barton and Scotch Corner, north Yorkshire, during the evening rush hour on September 21 at an average speed of 61mph.

The duke, whose wealth was estimated to be £140m on this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, was also twice caught driving the car at 73mph and 59mph in a 50mph zone near Lowdham, Nottinghamshire, in March and November.

He was also spotted speeding at 37mph on a 30mph section of the A61, at Chesterfield, last June.

The court heard the 57-year-old peer, who did not attend the hearing, was not eligible for a speed awareness course as he had attended one within the last three years and already had nine penalty points on his licence at the time he committed the offences.

When he did not respond to the fixed penalty notices, magistrates were told, the case had been listed for trial until solicitors for the duke indicated he would plead guilty to all the offences.

Lisa Wilson, for the duke, said: “He does not wish to minimise the offences. He does not wish to put forward an argument of exceptional hardship. There is little that I can put forward in mitigation.

“The court may consider that with the title he has and the property he resides in the defendant is of considerable means.”

Presiding magistrate Julia Svennevig ordered the duke pay a £3,025 fine within 28 days, banned him from driving for 12 months and added 15 penalty points to his licence.