Paramedic caught speeding on his way to M1 accident in Northamptonshire overturns decision to award him six points on licence

Mark Wells-Pestell represented himself in the case heard at Northampton Crown Court
Mark Wells-Pestell represented himself in the case heard at Northampton Crown Court

A paramedic who represented himself in court has overturned a decision to award him six points on his licence for speeding on the M1 in Northamptonshire because he showed he was attending an accident.

Mark Wells-Pestell, 49, was in his Nissan ambulance when alerted to an incident ahead of him on the M1 southbound between junctions 18 and 17 in May last year.

That stretch of the road is a smart motorway with a variable speed limit and as he raced to attend the scene he was clocked at 66mph in what was at the time a 40mph zone because of the crash up ahead.

He had been alerted to the accident by his GPS and drivers on the other side of the M1 who were flashing their lights and gesturing in the direction of the incident.

When Mr Wells-Pestell, from Stevenage, arrived he found a car in lane three which had been damaged by a metal object which had fallen off a trailer.

A trained paramedic, blue light driver and former Army medic, Mr Wells-Pestell was able to briefly close the carriageway to help get the vehicle to the hard shoulder and treated the driver who was described as "a bit shook up".

Wearing his paramedic uniform, Mr Wells-Pestell represented himself at Northampton Crown Court on Thursday where he was able to overturn the decision to endorse his licence with six points for speeding.

Those points would have prevented him from continuing his work as a medic in an area where there is a shortage of paramedics.

"If I hadn't attended the incident I would have failed my duty of care to the public," Mr Wells-Pestell told the court.

"If a member of the public needs my help I am duty-bound to help them."

"I thought I was doing the right thing," he added.

Mr Wells-Pestell told Judge Rebecca Crane he had been unable to work because of the points on his licence and said that after 32 years he was facing unemployment.

After retiring to consider her verdict with two magistrates, Judge Crane said: "We accept his evidence that he was in a marked vehicle that was properly registered, that he is a trained paramedic and he genuinely believed there was an accident on the M1.

"It was his duty to attend that incident."