Pompey fans coach driver loses appeal of his conviction

Police outside student accommodation in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth on Friday Picture Ben Fishwick

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A DRIVER found guilty of swapping seats at 60mph while carrying a coach-load of Pompey fans has lost a bid to have his conviction overturned.

Peter Williams, from Gorley Court, Havant, had denied a charge of dangerous driving – but he was found guilty following a trial at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.

Williams appealed his conviction, which had led to the 60-year-old being sentenced to 16 weeks in jail suspended for 18 months and a two-year driving ban.

He will have to take an extended re-test to get his licence back and was given a curfew ordering him not to leave his home between 8pm and 6am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for four months.

But Judge Ian Pearson dismissed the appeal and upheld the conviction at Portsmouth Crown Court.

Williams was ordered to pay £200 in court costs.

Williams was a relief driver on a 50-seater Vision Travel coach that was transporting fans north for a match at Middlesbrough when the incident happened.

Fellow driver Paul Booker got up from the wheel on the A34 near Newbur,y saying he needed to go to the toilet.

The prosecution said Booker’s knee caught the steering wheel and the coach veered to the left.

Williams managed to grab the steering wheel and corrected the swerve – but then the coach veered right.

No-one was hurt during the incident in August last year. Passengers raised the alarm.

Vision Travel quickly sent another driver to meet the coach at the Middlesborough’s Riverside Stadium. Williams and Booker were later sacked.

Paul Booker, of Arragon Court, Waterlooville, pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving at an earlier hearing at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.

He was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to pay £85 in court costs.

Booker was banned from getting behind the wheel for two-and-a-half years.

He was given a curfew stating that he must not to leave home between 8pm and 7am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for three months.