A Copsale man who campaigns against speeding is suing a garage over stress after his car was clocked doing 81mph while it was being repaired.
Norman Bryant, who was also once a driving instructor, took his vehicle to a garage, not in the circulation area of the County Times, and weeks later received a speeding ticket in the post.
The 67-year-old was summonsed to court by Sussex Police but soon after suffered a nervous breakdown and sought the help of a psychologist.
“I was a complete mess, the entire thing just cracked me up,” explained Mr Bryant, who has regularly contacted the County Times to air his views about speeding and traffic concerns.
The case was dropped by magistrates’ court when he pleaded not guilty.
But by this time, he said, he had been prescribed medication and the stress caused him to lose four and a half stone in weight.
“I’m taking them to court for compensation for what they [the garage] put me through, and that in itself is an ordeal.”
The garage apologised and confirmed that one of its technicians was driving the car as part of a routine road test on April 14, 2010 when the 70mph limit was exceeded on the A23, it has been reported in national media.
But this week Sussex Police said Mr Bryant did not fill out the correct paperwork when the penalty was issued.
A spokeswoman said: “A notice of intended prosecution was sent to the vehicle owner following the speeding offence, asking for the identity of the driver at the time.
“The response failed to provide this information, so another notice was issued, which was similarly returned failing to provide the identity of the driver.’’ She continued: “As a result, the vehicle owner was deemed liable and a summons was issued.
“As a result, the vehicle owner then advised that the vehicle was in the possession of a garage at the time.
“Because the matter had been passed to the court, the information was provided to the Crown Prosecution Service who accepted the explanation and no evidence was offered at court on March 7 2011. The case was therefore dropped.”
My Bryant has been an avid campaigner against speed for more than ten years after a car collided with his horse which subsequently meant it had to be put to sleep.
He wrote to this newspaper in January sharing his views on a 20mph speed restriction on roads in the Horsham area.
In the letter Mr Bryant said: “I am not in favour of yet more speed cameras as these are more of a cash machine for the authorities.”