As crooked as a hairpin

AS an old timer who has served more writs than you've had hot dinners, Tulkinghorn is always pleased to see lawyers getting recognition for their intelligence, charm and wit. Though, up until now, he has never been called upon to cheer a lawyer for breaking the law.

But then Tulkinghorn knows that times they are a-changing, and so hats off to Richard Moss, trainee solicitor at Manchester firm Rowe & Cohen, and to the marketing person who thought it would be a good idea to tell us this story.

Master Moss was caught twice on the same day for breaking the speed limit in a 30mph restricted area. And we're not just talking about a measly couple of notches too far on the speedometer, but a wacking 48mph and 54mph.

Bury Magistrates Court subsequently sentenced him to a six-month disqualification from driving, a £292 fine and nine penalty points.

Of course, being a lawyer, Moss did not expect to actually have to serve the punishment, so the clever clogs got his legal thinking cap on and came up with a way to outwit those pesky magistrates.

He found out that there are three requirements for a conviction, one of which is that a summons or Notice of Intended Prosecution must be served within 14 days.

And guess what? Hurrah! The summons arrived 16 days after the offence. So the magistrates' decision was overturned.

Moss says: "I'm pleased with the outcome, of course. Apart from winning the legal point, I can do without the fine, the ban and the points."

Simon Cohen, managing partner at Rowe & Cohen mused: "He should go far."

Well, there you have it. I'm sure mothers in Bury will be able to sleep a lot easier knowing that smartarse young solicitors are able to treat their streets as if they're Silverstone and get away with it.

Tulkinghorn thinks that sometimes, it would be more honourable to take the rap. But then he is a bit of a fuddy duddy sometimes.