Judge impressed after learning 'dangerous driver' has got £21 fare from London
An astonished judge asked a dangerous driving-accused defendant for travel tips – after learning he’d got a train ticket from London for just £21.
Martin Sweeney, 30, had been charged with driving a Ford Transit dangerously on Headley Way on October 20, 2021. He denied the offence and was due to stand trial later this year.
Dressed in a grey tracksuit, Sweeney, who gave an address of Oaksview Park, Murcott, when he was before the magistrates' court last year, returned to Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday morning (March 28) when prosecutors indicated that they were offering no evidence.
Judge Recorder John Hardy KC asked: “In short, you can’t say which one of the three it was [driving].”
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Defending, Gareth James asked for his client to be paid £63 out of court funds to cover Sweeney's travel expenses for three hearings.
“He’s had to come to court from London at a cost of £21 each time,” the advocate said.
Recorder Hardy said: “Perhaps he can leave me details of the route he takes.”
Told that Sweeney took the train rather than the coach, the judge gulped: “On the train!”
Mr James, who did not share his travel-savvy client's savings secret, agreed. “I know, it seems ridiculously cheap.”
The Great Western Railway website suggests that those prepared to put up with a slow train from Marylebone to Oxford and back could do the journey for £28.
It would require some planning, though, as the penny-pinching traveller must buy single fares in advance. A return fare comes in at a more eye-watering £77.30.