Stephen Fry’s partner has been banned from driving, just a day after the pair’s engagement was announced, for speeding at more than 100mph in a £130,000 Aston Martin.
Comedian Elliott Spencer, 27, broke the speed limit in the summer after Fry suggested he “get a move on” because they were late for an appearance at a literature festival.
Both Spencer and Fry, 57, were present at Cwmbran magistrates court in south Wales, where the former was banned from driving for seven days and told to pay a £100 fine plus £85 costs.
The court was told that the couple were in a loaned Aston Martin DB9 when Spencer drove at 101mph in a 70mph zone as they headed for the Hay festival, where Fry was due to make his inaugural address as president.
Mark Wyeth QC, defending Spencer, said: “Mr Fry, who is Spencer’s partner, was due as the new president of the literature festival and was due that afternoon to give his inaugural address. They hit a large backlog of traffic and in a moment of indiscretion Mr Fry suggested to Spencer that he might like to get a move on.
“No other drivers were inconvenienced and he eventually did make it by a matter of a few minutes, in time for the festival. Mr Fry assumes all responsibility because it was his decision that made Spencer put his foot down.”
The couple were driving from their home in London to attend the festival on the May bank holiday when they were caught near Newport, south Wales.
They were driving the white Aston Martin, which was on loan for a month to see if they wanted to buy one, when it was logged by a speed camera doing 101mph.
Wyeth said: “The Aston Martin plainly did not belong to Spencer. It was on loan because they were interested in buying such a vehicle but they did not for obvious reasons.
“What happened here was unfamiliarity with a vehicle which is extremely powerful and which they had had for just a few days.”
Spencer, who appeared in court wearing a blue blazer and a black tie, gave an address in St James’s, central London.
Cwmbran magistrates court heard how Spencer has an “unblemished record” and a clean driver’s licence, which he has held for five years.
At the time of the offence he was working as a voluntary support teacher in the Surrey area for children with learning difficulties, but Wyeth said “in light of recent circumstances” he has now left that job.
Magistrates’ chairman Phillip Walker told Spencer: “You increased your speed because you were late for an important engagement. You face a disqualification but we are persuaded that this can be at the lower end of the scale.”
Fry was in a jovial mood and signed autographs and posed for selfies before the hearing. And as the magistrates considered their decision, he teased Spencer, telling him he was “probably facing a stretch in jail”.
After the case, he said the time since announcing their engagement on Tuesday had been wonderful and that they planned to tie the knot within a year.
He said: “It’s been wonderful. We’ve not fixed a date and if I had I wouldn’t tell you. But I can say it will be sometime within the next year or so. As is the way with these things, it became public when we filled in the paperwork. It was probably a bit much to expect a quiet ceremony.”
Fry said Hay was a wonderful festival but the traffic on the day had been awful. “I was due on stage at 2.30pm and we arrived at the festival site at 2.28pm.”
He also joked with court staff about Wales’s love of rugby and claimed he would come back to Cwmbran, but the couple would drive more carefully next time.
After the hearing, Spencer said: “I would like to thank the court staff for their courtesy towards me today. I apologise for my driving.”
Stephen Fry got his financé banned from driving watch
- Thread Starter
- 08-01-2015 18:20
- 08-01-2015 18:32
A 7 day ban. That was it?
- 08-01-2015 18:34
I think we should do away with speed limits on the inner lanes of motorways.
Offline21ReputationRep:Community AssistantWelcome Squad
- Community Assistant
- Welcome Squad
- 08-01-2015 18:40
Posted from TSR Mobile
- Thread Starter
- 08-01-2015 19:10
- Thread Starter
- 08-01-2015 19:11