A DRIVER with nine points on his licence gave his terminally-ill friend’s name to police after he was caught speeding twice in one day at a notorious speeding hotspot.

Randolph Parsons was driving his Ford Kuga on the A168 in North Yorkshire on December 12 last year when he was caught travelling at 83mph and 86mph.

Parsons was clocked by a police camera van speeding on the trunk road south of Thirsk, where the road becomes the A19, to visit a sick friend in Middlesbrough, York Crown Court heard.

When two notices of intended prosecution were sent to him - as registered keeper of the vehicle - he responded by naming Randolph Richards as the driver.

The notices were sent on to Mr Richards’ address in Middlesbrough later in the month, but his widow told North Yorkshire Police her husband could not have been driving as he had been terminally ill with cancer at the time, and had since died.

Officers visited the woman, who produced her husband’s death certificate, and identified Parsons from a photograph taken by a road safety camera. Parsons denied the offence in his first police interview, and maintained Mr Richards had been behind the wheel, until officers showed him the photograph, at which point he admitted it.

The court heard Parsons, now 60, had three previous convictions for violence in the early 1990s.

Graham Parkin, for Parsons, said: “He stands before the court extremely anxious.

“He did not realise the severity of what he was doing, the consequences for him of this sort of behaviour.”

Recorder Simon Jackson QC told Parsons he could have been sent to prison for the offence, but he was given credit for his early guilty plea. He said: “You are fortunate, Mr Parsons. Make sure this is the last time you come before the courts. I take a view that the issues about the circumstance in which you came to be driving, though no explanation for the speeding or your lying, is some mitigation.”

Parsons, of Grange Road, Ilford, was jailed for six months, suspended for 18 months, ordered to complete 250 hours’ unpaid work, issued with a three-month curfew between 8pm and 6am, and disqualified from driving for six months.