A SENIOR Northumberland councillor who has campaigned a number of times over speeding traffic is himself facing a driving ban after his Mercedes was clocked over the limit.
Trevor Thorne, a planning committee chairman with Northumberland County Council, was the owner of a Mercedes C220 which was caught speeding, but he failed to respond to a police request for details of who was driving at the time.
Coun Thorne, who has run a hotel in the county for over 25 years, already has six points on his driving licence following two speeding offences.
He is now to receive a further six for failing to give driver details, leaving him facing a ban.
Coun Thorne, once chairman of the now defunct Alnwick District Council, is a Conservative member for the Shilbottle county ward. He is the chairman of the authority’s planning and environment committee.
The 59-year-old lives at Embleton Hall in Longframlington, an 18th Century grade two listed country home, which he acquired in 1986, converting it into a hotel. Coun Thorne’s case came before Mid and South East Northumberland magistrates at Bedlington for the first time this week. Magistrates heard he had, over the period from September 25 last year to October 23, failed to respond to a request from Northumbria Police to give details of who was driving his Mercedes C220 when it was caught committing an offence.
The Journal was told the car was caught speeding, although no further details of the offence have been given by the court, police or the Crown Prosecution Service.
Coun Thorne did not attend court but pleaded guilty by letter.
He wrote: “I apologise for not returning the form. I mislaid it and forgot about it. I am very sorry.”
The court heard the councillor already has six points on his licence for two speeding offences, one from January this year and the other from 2011.
Failing to give driver details carries an automatic six-point penalty, taking Coun Thorne to 12 whereby a ban will automatically be considered. The councillor must appear on April 17.
Coun Thorne, appointed chairman of the Alnwick authority in 2003, has been a member of the unitary council since it elected its first representatives in 2008. In addition to chairing the planning committee, he sits on the North area committee, North area planning committee and family and children’s services overview and scrutiny committee.
In December, Coun Thorne confirmed he had accepted an offer to sell the property, although he was hoping to continue living at the site’s stable cottage and said he planned to look for other work.
The Journal contacted Coun Thorne at his home yesterday.
He said of the offence: “It was just an oversight on my part.”