A Court of Appeal Judge has lost his licence for 56 days after speeding through a red light – his fourth motoring offence in eighteen months. Sir Mathew Thorpe (pictured), 73, could have been disqualified for six months, but convinced District Judge Daphne Wickham that this would cause ‘exceptional hardship’ to his farming work. Thorpe admitted failing to comply with a red light in Victoria Embankment on 3 February. He was also fined £250, with £250 costs. City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that Sir Mathew had clocked up nine penalty points for speeding in November 2009, July 2010 and April this year. An additional three penalty points were added for the red light offence, making him liable for disqualification. His Skoda Fabia was snapped by a traffic camera jumping the red light at 39 mph at 6.55am. ‘I do rely on the car to get between my two places of work, but more importantly for my farming in Wiltshire,’ Sir Mathew told the court. ‘The farm buildings are the hub of the wheel. Cattle have to be fed by driving around the hub. I work three days a week on the farm.’ Thorpe told the court he is separated from his wife and has one part-time employee to help him, insisting it was not practical to find more staff. ‘It would be difficult, I can’t say impossible, but in a small community I can’t think of anyone qualified or suitable. ‘I would want somebody who knew what they were doing on a farm.’ Thorpe said he needed to drive animal feed a distance of one-and-a-half miles to take care of his cattle. His lawyer Yvette Kresner said: ‘It is a very difficult junction. There is a large bike lane and two other lanes. ‘It was a split-second decision by Sir Mathew not to cause danger to other road users, and go through the lights.’ District Judge Wickham – who knows Sir Mathew professionally – said: ‘He is entitled to put these circumstances in front of me and six months would be a long time for the defendant to be disqualified if he was able to maintain that aspect of his life.’ A spokesman for the Judicial Office said that accrording to normal procedures, the matter would be referred to the Office for Judicial Complaints for inquiries to be made, and for ‘consideration in due course by the Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellor’.
In its struggle for survival in the face of successive and impending legal aid cuts, Hackney Community Law Centre has some stalwart allies. It hosted a reception in the House of Lords last week to thank its supporters. Two of its patrons, Lord Low of Dalston and the MP for Hackney, Diane Abbott, spoke about the damaging impact the cuts will have on the ability of law centres to help the estimated 650,000 people who will no longer be entitled to civil legal aid, and even on its ability to stay afloat. Its chairman Ian Rathbone advised the justice secretary Ken Clarke (who was not present) – or Lord Hush Puppy, as he called him – to look to Scotland for a workable legal aid system. In the meantime, the law centre has come up with a scheme more cunning than a Tutorial in Cunning by Professor Cunning Fox of Cunning College, Cambridge. It has appointed Hackney-born actor and presenter Tony Robinson, aka Baldrick, the scruffy sidekick to BBC’s Edmund Blackadder, as one of its trustees. The good people of Hackney should not give up hope.
LSU coach Les Miles addressed his job status on Wednesday morning.BATON ROUGE – LSU coach Les Miles was asked if he has the same support he has had previously from LSU athletic director Joe Alleva in light of the Tigers’ two-game losing streak.“Yeah, I think it’s been very consistent,” Miles said on the Southeastern Conference teleconference Wednesday morning. “I don’t think there’s any issues. I think that this is the style of job that you get. You’re expected to win. That’s the kind of job that I want, and I enjoy going into a stadium where everybody believes that you ought to beat the tar out of the opponent. That’s plenty of incentive for me.”No. 17 LSU (7-2, 4-2 SEC) dropped from No. 9 to No. 15 in the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night after a No. 2 CFP ranking on Nov. 3. The Tigers have lost in back-to-back weeks to now-No. 2 Alabama by 30-16 and to unranked Arkansas by 31-14. The Tigers play at Ole Miss (7-3, 4-2 SEC) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on CBS. LSU closes the regular season against Texas A&M (7-3, 3-3 SEC) on Nov. 28 at home.Miles, who is in his 11th season and coming off one of his worst seasons at 8-5 overall and 4-4 in the SEC, was asked if he feels more pressure going into his final two games after the two-game losing streak than after low points of past seasons.“I’m kind of always played beyond when you finish second, and always played the same style of football,” he said. “To get back on track is a sincere feeling in this program. When you go two games, it’s painful. But I don’t know that it’s any additional pressure than my second game when we finished second to Tennessee and went on and had a great year. So, no, to be honest with you, I think it’s imperative that the Tigers get back on track. I don’t think that there could be any more additional motivation than the motivation that I have.”Coverage of LSU and Glenn Guilbeau commentary supported by Hebert’s Town and Country Auto Dealer in Shreveport located at 1155 E. Bert Kouns. Research your next Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or RAM at http://www.hebertstandc.com