Good Samaritan escapes points after jumping red light on ‘errand of mercy’


A good Samaritan escaped with a clean licence after jumping a red traffic light on an errand of mercy.

Volunteer driver Brian Thompson told a court it happened while taking a disabled Swanwick woman to hospital for a routine appointment.

Suddenly she began to lose blood and scream: “I can’t live with the pain. I am in agony.”

Ex-Army driver Thompson, 55, pressed on to the Queen’s Medical Centre and safely delivered his patient, who needs a wheelchair and has serious medical spinal problems following a road accident.

The trip ended up at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court where he admitted failing to comply with the traffic signal in a city suburb on October 30. He was fined £40 with a £20 government surcharge.

But District Judge Leo Pyle found “special reasons” not to endorse the licence of Thompson of Park Drive, Ripley. Three penalty points are usually imposed for the offence.

Thompson said he collected the 52-year-old woman as agreed for an orthopaedic appointment. They set off in good time in her Motability vehicle and she seemed well.

After coming off the M1 motorway, the road had a 40mph limit before quickly dropping to 30mph just before the lights on the roundabout on the A610.

He told the court: “She was screaming on the motorway, she was crying in pain. I didn’t purposely stop because of her condition and it didn’t make me get to the hospital sooner rather than later.

“My concern was to get her to this consultant and A&E as soon as possible. She said ‘I can’t live with the pain, I am in agony’ and she was flopping around in her seat.

“The lights seemed to take me by surprise coming from the motorway. It seemed to change very very quickly.

“I got to the lights and it was changing to red as quickly as I was looking at it. I kept going, realising I could not stop in time.”

The woman began to suffer from “severe cramps” and he managed to get her to the QMC ten minutes before the 9am appointment.

The judge asked whether he should have stopped at the roadside and alerted an ambulance when the woman became ill.

Thompson replied: “I do not carry a mobile. I don’t believe in driving with them and carrying them in my pocket.”

He said that he had held a driving licence for 35 years and drove a range of vehicles in the Army from lorries to buses. Thompson said he was hoping to get work as an ambulance driver next year but job prospects would have been hampered by an endorsement on his licence.