Published: 15:00, 04 March 2015
A driving instructor caught doing more than 100mph while on holiday in New Zealand said he was speeding towards a toilet because his dad had diarrhoea.
Peter Lee, 47, who lives in Kingsnorth, Ashford, and is currently the subject of bankruptcy proceedings, then resorted to busking and signing up to a crowd-funding website to raise the 1,000 New Zealand Dollars (£492) court fine needed to keep him out of jail.
Lee was stopped by police on a 5 kilometre straight section of State Highway 6, near Hokitika on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island, on Sunday.
He was clocked doing 178kmh (110mph) in a 100kmh (62mph) zone in a rental car.
Lee told officers his father was ill but they arrested him and his rental car contract was cancelled.
He was charged with dangerous driving in the Queenstown District Court.
Lawyer Sonia Vidal said Lee was the subject of bankruptcy proceedings in the UK and had just $365 and £20 and his father had paid for his trip to the southern hemisphere.
"He has got to face up to his own responsibilities. This is excessive speed," - Judge Michael Crosbie
She told the court on Monday: “He said his father is paying for everything. The rental car was impounded and his father paid $500 for a new rental. The father has a brother in Auckland providing accommodation and food.”
Judge Michael Crosbie warned Lee he faced a prison sentence if he could not raise the $1,000 fine.
The judge said: “I would be setting an untenable precedent if everyone on the road thought they could get away with a fine (for excessive speed).
“It should not be lost on him the maximum penalty is three months’ jail. Unless he can make arrangements to pay he can go off to prison. He has got to face up to his own responsibilities. This is excessive speed.”
However, after being bailed, Lee went busking in picturesque Queenstown and managed to raise the cash.
He returned to court on Tuesday and after paying the fine, was disqualified from driving for nine months.
When asked by the judge how he managed to raise the money so quickly, Lee said he represented people in Queenstown who used full-time busking as their main source of income.
The judge told Lee: “While you may have had a reason, there’s never a justification for going that quickly. Even serving members of the police would have difficulty justifying a speed like that.”
Lee is due to leave New Zealand on Saturday, March 14.
Thanks to The Press newspaper in Christchurch, part of Fairfax New Zealand, for supplying this story.
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