Stone Roses singer avoids ban

Ian BrownStone Roses front man Ian Brown escaped a driving ban after he was clocked speeding at 105mph.

Brown, 48, of Lymm, Cheshire, appeared before Chester magistrates who fined him £650 and endorsed his driving licence with six penalty points after he pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to speeding in his Lexus car on the M6.

Brown, wearing a shirt and tie and a large black jacket, thanked magistrates after his lawyer Nick Freeman argued that a driving ban would have caused him “insurmountable” difficulties in relation to seeing his 11-year-old son who lives in London with his mother and in attending Stone Roses band rehearsals which are taking place at “a remote secret location”.

Brown, who appeared in court under his full name Ian George Brown, was also ordered to pay £300 prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

On leaving court, the singer refused to comment on the case but stopped to sign an autograph for a radio journalist.

Alison Warburton, prosecuting, told the court that Brown was caught speeding on the M6 northbound, near Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, on April 25 this year at around 12.30am.

She said a police officer followed his car for five miles and that he drove at 105mph for about a mile.

His speed never dropped below 94mph, the court heard.

The police officer then pulled Brown over, who disputed that he was driving that fast and initially entered a not guilty plea to the charge.

Mr Freeman, dubbed “Mr Loophole” after successfully defending a number of celebrity clients charged with speeding offences, said Brown changed his plea to guilty before his trial when he realised that the speeds clocked by the police were correct.

Mr Freeman said his client’s high mileage was down to his job as a musician and also down to his “domestic arrangements”.

He said Brown was going through an “extremely acrimonious” divorce with his wife of 10 years and he drove to London every Wednesday to pick his 11-year-old son up from school and take him out for dinner.

Mr Freeman said he continues to have an “excellent relationship” with his son and also drives to London to see him three weekends out of four.

The court heard that Brown has two other sons, aged 15 and 19, from a previous relationship and he needs his car to continue seeing them regularly.

Brown also goes to the supermarket “regularly” for his elderly parents who live in Timperley, Greater Manchester, the court heard.

He said Brown proffered an apology to the court through him.

Sentencing Brown to the fine and penalty points, magistrates said they decided not to impose a disqualification in view of the fact that the defendant’s driving record was “certainly not the worst” they had seen and points would act as more of a deterrent.

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