United Kingdom

Driver accused of 89mph jaunt tells court it was 'an elaborate story'

A car enthusiast accused of averaging 89mph on a John O’Groats to Land’s End record attempt claimed yesterday that he had exaggerated his exploits in media interviews.

Thomas Davies appeared in national newspapers and on the Jeremey Vine show on BBC Radio 2 to brag about his journey.

He also produced a YouTube video and wrote a blog on the Pistonheads website in which he claimed to have made the 841-mile journey in nine hours and 36 minutes – hitting only one red light.

Thomas Davies appeared in national newspapers and on the Jeremey Vine show on BBC Radio 2 to brag about his journey

It would normally take at least 15 hours to drive between the UK’s farthest points, meaning he would have had to have kept up an average 89mph, a court heard.

But yesterday Davies, who denies three counts of dangerous driving and two of perverting the course of justice, said his accounts were part of ‘an exaggeration’.

He admitted making the trip in September 2017 but said he was not driving at the time but travelling in a car similar to his own being driven by Irish friends he met within the car community.

Truro Crown Court has previously heard Davies, 29, had fake plates and used scanning devices to avoid speed cameras. During a raid of his home in Corwen, North Wales in 2018, police found a silver Audi S5, a high-performance coupe, along with an extra 80-litre fuel tank in the boot.

They also found four transponders which could be used to warn of speed cameras and a device which would reveal the position of police cars.

It would normally take at least 15 hours to drive between the UK’s farthest points, meaning he would have had to have kept up an average 89mph, a court heard

Prosecutor Ryan Murray alleged the equipment showed he had used ‘illegal methods’ to break the record and avoid being caught speeding. 

He said Davies waited several months to ‘tell the world’ about his record because speeding offences had to be prosecuted within six months.

Yesterday, Davies, who is representing himself, played a report from a radio show about his trip.

Two guest motoring experts spoke to the host about what he claimed he had done. 

One said: ‘I would like to see some proof. I smell a rat. If his average speed was 90mph then he must have hit 150mph.’ And he said police or other witnesses such truck drivers would have seen it.

The other guest questioned if this was a PR stunt.

Davies told the jury: ‘There is considerable focus and attention [in this case] on tabloid interviews, radio and blog posts.’ 

He said, despite the amount of detail in the blog posts, the media had overlooked the fact that it ‘was all an exaggeration of real life’.

He added: ‘It was nothing more than an elaborately and overly researched story based on an actual journey seven months later with other people. A real-life journey that was somewhat slower.

‘In retrospect it was a very stupid thing to do, however I’ve done a lot of growing up in the last three years.’

He said there was no evidence of him having the extra fuel tank in 2017, when he claimed to have broken the record. It was found by police executing a search warrant in 2018.

Davies said he had the additional tank because was taking part in the Cannonball Memorial Run from California to Washington DC in 2019. 

He said the other equipment found in his car was for the same race.

Defence witness and speed camera expert William Campbell told the jury none of the equipment police found ‘could have prevented the fixed speed cameras activating’.

The trial continues.

Prosecutor Ryan Murray alleged the equipment showed he had used ‘illegal methods’ to break the record and avoid being caught speeding. He said Davies waited several months to ‘tell the world’ about his record because speeding offences had to be prosecuted within six months

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