Long time no here (sic)
Those were the days eh? When you were Solicitor-General and late at night the mood took you to try to slap down a humble blogger. Where are you now?
Ah! Pontypridd Magistrates Court.
Pontypridd? Along with all the errant husbands, the benefit cheats, the TV licence dodgers? Yep, that was you. Common or garden defendant, subject to the court’s orders. To think you used to order them around!
You put up a spirited display, I’ll give you that, all that expertise in Law, employed to try to wriggle out of from under the court’s powers.
Why you even tried to tell the magistrates their powers – not a good move that – I’ll warrant they had already checked up on them extensively – they knew who was going to be standing in the dock before them.
“But magistrates at Pontypridd, south Wales, dismissed her lengthy arguments after she admitted driving at 98mph on the M4 near Miskin.”
You see when Our Vera was still Solicitor-General, back in the good old days, when she could still orchestrate an appeal for her friend Lord Ahmed so his sentence for mowing down an innocent pedestrian ‘whilst not texting’ was overturned, our Vera took off to bring succour and cheer to another friend. In Swansea, at 98mph.
“I can only imagine that, almost at the end of the journey somewhere around Pontypridd, that I unfortunately went too fast.”
Our Vera had already been found guilty in her absence, but she wriggled out of that one by telling the Magistrates that she had never received the summons. You know how mail addressed to an MP does go missing…..amazing.
This time she turned up, and started by explaining the sentencing guidelines to the magistrates…..
“She informed them that they could impose between four and six penalty points or hand down a 28 day driving ban.”
Clever move Vera – she was asking for the ‘more serious’ 28 day ban. The last time she tried to explain sentencing guidelines to the judiciary, she was forced to apologise by the Lord Chancellor.
Whyfore? A sudden attack of Nu Liebore conscience. Not at all.
You see Our Vera already had seven licence points – and if they added the lighter sentence of five licence points to that she would end up with a six month ban not the 28 days ban she was asking for.
“Baird then took the stand in an attempt to save her licence by arguing the ban would cause “exceptional hardship”.
She said that, as the former MP for Redcar, she was still in the process of “winding up” her constituency work. “
I had to read that twice before it stopped looking as though it said ‘winding up her constituents’ – something she did so successfully that they kicked her out at the last election.
Mike Powell, prosecuting, asked whether she could afford to pay for taxis.
“It would come out of the Parliamentary winding-up allowance, unless I actually assume it on my own account, and there does not seem to be a lot of point in that, really.”
But the doughty Welsh magistrate, Liz Pearce (hats off to you Ms Pearce) was having none of it.
Liz Pearce, chairwoman of the magistrates, dismissed Baird’s exceptional hardship plea, saying it had not been proved from the evidence put before them.
She concluded by warning Baird: “From now on, do not do any car driving in any shape or form and please do not return to driving until you have your licence back.”
So that is the end of this tale. Ms Baird and her mangy pooch will be on the train for the next six months. Mind your step there now.