Dance school choreographer caught speeding avoids driving ban

Dance school choreographer, 46, who was caught speeding four times in a week avoids driving ban after claiming vulnerable pupils would suffer ‘exceptional hardship’ because she would miss classes

  • Lindsay Inglesby was caught doing between 39mph and 44mph in 30mph zone
  • She argued students at her Liverpool classes would suffer if she could not attend

A choreographer caught speeding four times in a week has been spared a driving ban after claiming disadvantaged pupils at her dance and music academy would be ‘impacted’ if she lost her driving licence.

Lindsay Inglesby, 46, faced disqualification under the totting up procedure after being clocked travelling at speeds of between 39mph and 44mph in a 30mph zone at a notorious speed trap in south Liverpool just weeks after moving into the area.

But Ms Ingleby, whose partner is a director at an Olivier Award winning theatre company, argued her students – many of who come from impoverished backgrounds – would suffer ‘exceptional hardship’ as she would struggle to take all classes at her academy which has four different sites across Liverpool city centre.

One of her former pupils was singer Deana Walmsley who was a finalist in the 2019 series of The Voice and who was mentored by Sir Tom Jones.

At Wirral magistrates court, Ms Inglesby broke down in tears as JPs agreed with her argument and allowed her to carry on driving with 14 points on her licence. She was also fined a total of £1058, pay prosecution costs of £220 and a victim surcharge of £423.

Lindsay Inglesby (pictured), 46, faced disqualification after being caught speeding but was spared the ban

Ms Ingleby (right), whose partner Sam Donovan (left) is a director at an Olivier Award winning theatre company, argued her students would suffer ‘exceptional hardship’ if she could not drive to classes

Ms Inglesby, from Aigburth, had been caught driving her electric Audi 50 Quattro at 40, 44,41, and 39mph by the same camera on a 30mph stretch of Garston Way, Liverpool, on June 20, 22, 25, and 26 of last year respectively.

But the court heard she was unfamiliar with the road as she had only moved into the area the previous May and the speeding offences occurred whilst she visiting her dying father in hospital.

Miss Inglesby, who takes home £2,300 per month, runs academies Rare Studio dance school and the Rare School of Fashion & Art.

She said: ‘They are run on a football academy model. We work with a large percentage of children from disadvantaged backgrounds who then go on to progress to amazing drama schools and fashion colleges and high-profile jobs.

‘We have 300 children across all the schools. If the operational side of the business gets affected it will impact on how succinctly their day runs, their timetable runs, if I am not able to be on site.

‘I am very much involved with the young people. As well as being the director I am hands on, with mentoring and teaching. If I had to cut a workday it will impact on their learning, ultimately.’

Ms Inglesby, who is also choreographer at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, said she and her actor partner Sam Donovan, who is a director of Papatango theatre company in Liverpool, work six days a week and could not afford to pay someone else to help out if she was unable to drive.

‘We are suffering due to the current economic crisis. Our energy bills have quadrupled and we have had to look at our budgets and cash flows.

‘It would be very, very tricky to get someone else to fill my shoes at the moment.

‘I also care for my mum who lives in Huyton, about four or four miles from where I live. She is 82 years old and has an underlying blood condition. She has to attend hospital regularly for blood tests.

‘Losing my licence would be horrendous for the people around me. I am really mortified that I am even in this position, I am just sorry.’

Ms Inglesby, from Aigburth, had been caught driving her electric Audi 50 Quattro at 40, 44,41, and 39mph by the same camera on a 30mph stretch

Ms Inglesby’s lawyer Isobel Denn-White said: ‘My client thinks she can cope with the loss of her licence – but it is the impact on other people she is worried about.’

In granting the exceptional hardship application, JP Susie Haggstrom said: ‘We have decided that your application reaches the criteria for a successful hardship application because of the impact the loss of your licence would have on the vulnerable children in your schools where you are a director, mentor and teacher and the impact it might have on the help you give your mother with care and hospital visits.

‘But we want to emphasise that you could not rely on this reason again if you come to the court in the next three years. It would have to be different circumstances.’

Ms Inglesby will have 14 points on her driving licence for the next three years. If she were to commit another driving offence within this timeframe she would likely face disqualification. 

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