EastEnders stars driving ban reduced as he is recognised on public transport

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EastEnders actor Jamie Borthwick has had his driving ban overturned after making an appeal on Thursday (March 3).

The actor, best known for playing Jay Brown in the BBC soap, was originally handed a six-month driving ban and six penalty points on his driving license at Romford Magistrates’ Court on January 31.

Croydon Nightingale Court then heard that as the actor already had six points, he was handed the driving ban.

He was also fined £660 and made to pay a further £166 in court costs, The Mirror reports.

But now that ban has been reduced to two months as the star claimed he would be “recognised on public transport” – and has to ferry his great uncle and aunt to their hospital appointments.

The actor was originally having to arrange alternate transport to take him to work at BBC Studios after being clocked speeding in his Mercedes at 52mph in a 30mph zone in Romford.

Borthwick admitted to speeding at a Single Justice Procedure on December 1 last year.

At the actor’s appeal, his lawyers explained that the great aunt and uncle he takes to appointments are “like grandparents to him”.

His lawyer Alex Owen told the court: “The circumstances of this offence are the road is a dual carriageway which isn’t signposted at 30mph limit but of course the presence of street lights indicates that. He was unaware of that at the time, he was wrongly under the impression it was a 50mph limit.

“It took place in the midafternoon and it was relatively quiet at the time. No danger was caused.”

Ms Owen added: “Mr Borthwick is working at the moment. He is currently paying for himself to arrange transport to and from work at a considerable cost to himself.

Having spoken to him this morning he tells me both his great uncle and great uncle’s wife – the closest thing he has to grandparents – are both ill.

“They are both 75. His uncle’s wife has around four hospital appointments a week mostly in London – too far for them to travel.”

Borthwick’s great uncle is said to be waiting for an operation on his knee, and has been told by his doctor that he should not be driving.

Ms Owen said: “His family and two sisters are all working full time or in education. They have been managing for the past month with the great uncle’s driving getting worse.

“In those circumstances because of his flexible working hours he’s the best person and available person to take them to appointments. Particularly when his uncle has the operation he won't be able to drive for some time.

“Mr Borthwick does attend a number of charitable appearances. For the most part he’s responsible for his own travel to and from those appearances and as he is not able to drive he is not able to do those.

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“He has issues with public transport and being recognised and not all of those encounters have been favourable.”

His representative also argued that five points – instead of six – could have been imposed to keep Borthwick under the maximum number on his license, or used discretionary powers to slap him with a 56-day ban instead of adding points at all.

She told the court: “It was a reading of 52mph, if it had been a reading of 50mph it could have been given four to six points, so there’s a possibility five points could have been given to him.

“That would allow the points to stay on his licence so if there’s any further offending he has that hanging over him, but he would be allowed to carry on driving for the time being.”

The request was then granted by Mr Recorder Richard Thomas and Justice Olive Murray, as Mr Thomas said: “The effect of the imposition of the six penalty points was that he had 12 points on his licence.

“He had two previous convictions, one from 2018 which was three points and another from July 2021 which post-dated the incident but was on his licence by the time of conviction and sentence.

“What he asks us to is exercise our discretion, taking into account mitigation and either impose five points or disqualify him up to 56 days.

“With some degree of ambivalence and having carefully thought about it we are just about prepared to replace his points with a disqualification of 56 days.

“And so the sentence will be exactly the same as in the magistrates court except the sentence of six points will be amended to disqualification of 56 days.”

When the Recorder added: “Mr Borthwick, stop speeding,” Borthwick nodded.

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  • BBC
  • Eastenders

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