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.

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"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."

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Lotus Elise

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

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