Lotus Elise driver clocked at 173mph proves his car can't go that fast
20 March 2009

A man clocked by police driving at 173mph in a 50mph zone has been spared a jail sentence after it was found his sports car was incapable of travelling that fast.

Officers recorded Tex O'Reilly driving at 173mph in his Lotus Elise as he drove along a country lane in Derbyshire last July, Derby Crown Court was told.

But defence lawyers successfully argued the 36-year-old Derbyshire builder's unmodified car had a top speed of 127mph.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving on the basis that he had driven at just 105mph.

A recording of 173mph would usually have warranted a jail term, but the prosecution failed to disprove the defence claims and accepted O'Reilly's basis of plea.

The father-of-three from Canal Bridge, Willington, pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving and was given a £5000 fine and two-year driving ban.

Judge Andrew Hamilton said: "May I make it absolutely clear that had you been driving at 150mph you would have been going immediately to prison.

"However, you were not driving at 150mph, you were driving at 105mph, and for whatever reason the prosecution have accepted that basis of plea, and that puts the case in a different light."

Our Verdict

Lotus Elise

Is the Lotus Elise still the last word in open-top British sports car fun?

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