EastEnders star's driving ban cut after lawyer claims he'd 'be recognised on public transport'

4 March 2022, 09:57

EastEnders actor Jamie Borthwick had his driving ban cut to 56 days
EastEnders actor Jamie Borthwick had his driving ban cut to 56 days. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

An EastEnders actor who was handed a driving ban for speeding had it reduced by two thirds after his lawyer aruged he would be recognised if he took public transport.

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Jamie Borthwick, who has played Jay Brown in the soap for the last 15 years, was clocked driving his Mercedes at 52mph on a road in Romford with a 30mph speed limit.

He admitted the offence and his case was closed on December 1.

On January 31, Borthwick was given six penalty points, a six month driving ban - because he already had six points on his licence - and a fine of £660 plus court costs.

Then on Thursday Borthwick appealed, with his lawyers arguing, among other things, that he had been "recognised" on public transport before and "not all of those encounters have been favourable".

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Alex Owen, representing Borthwick, said because of this he was "paying for himself to arrange transport to and from work at a considerable cost to himself".

Mr Owen also said Borthwick's great uncle and great uncle's wife - "the closest thing he has to grandparents" - were both unwell, and needed Borthwick to drive them.

“They are both 75," said Mr Owen.

"His uncle’s wife has around four hospital appointments a week mostly in London - too far for them to travel. His great uncle is waiting for an operation to his knee, having been a labourer for most of his life.

"He is driving to appointments and has been told by his doctor he should not be driving. 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 Owen added a driving ban left Borthwick unable to attending his charitable appearances, saying: "He has issues with public transport and being recognised and not all of those encounters have been favourable."

He also noted the road was not signposted as 30mph, although conceded "the presence of street lights indicates that".

Mr Owen said magistrates imposing just five penalty points - which would have been an option had he been driving 2mph slower - would have left the actor just under the maximum.

He added they could also have handed him a 56-day ban instead of the points.

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Ms Owen invited Mr Recorder Richard Thomas and Justice Olive Murray to repeal the ban and take either of the two options.

Granting the appeal, 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."

He added: "Mr Borthwick stop speeding", to which Borthwick nodded.