AN off-duty police officer who was caught doing 96km/h in a 60km/h zone in August has successfully appealed the suspension of his licence in Orange Local Court.
Adam Jon Fernyhough, an officer at the Katoomba station in Springwood Local Area Command, had finished a stressful 12-hour shift on the April long weekend when a momentary lapse of concentration led to the speeding offence, according to his solicitor.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Andy Bobin stepped away from the case, declaring a conflict of interest, and the court was temporarily adjourned while a solicitor was found to act on the behalf of Roads and Maritime Services in prosecuting the case.
Fernyhough’s solicitor Paul Johnson said his client had worked a difficult shift, which involved domestic violence incidents and supervisory duties involving probationary constables, on the day he was detected speeding at about 8am.
“With all due respect to them [probationary constables], they have to be spoon fed,” he said.
Mr Johnson asked the court to uphold his client’s appeal saying he was highly embarrassed at having his licence suspended and he played an important role in the community.
“This man is a human being, not Osama Bin Laden,” Mr Johnson said.
He said the fact his client was driving his wife’s car, which was unfamiliar to him, could have contributed to the loss of concentration.
Solicitor Neil Jones, who represented the RMS, said the NSW government had worked hard to get the anti-speeding message across to the public.
“Speed kills. As a serving police officer he should know more than most of us the effect of speed,” he said.
“This is not just a bit over [the speed limit].”
Magistrate Terry Lucas adjourned the case for judgement yesterday afternoon and returned to the court at 2pm.
In upholding Fernyhough’s appeal Mr Lucas said the officer’s familiarity with the road had no bearing on his decision and neither did his profession.
Fernyhough has already paid a $779 fine associated with the speeding offence.
His licence suspension was due to run for three months from August.