Ilkeston Town owner Alan Hardy fails in bid to have driving ban dropped

Ilkeston Town FC owner Alan Hardy.
Ilkeston Town FC owner Alan Hardy.

Ilkeston Town FC owner Alan Hardy told a court that he tried to hire university graduates to act as  chauffeur during a driving ban.

Ilkeston Town FC owner Alan Hardy told a court that he tried to hire university graduates to act as chauffeur during a driving ban.

But he said that he failed to recruit anyone after telling them of the long hours and inactivity between spells at the wheel.

Hardy, 54, told Nottingham Crown Court of his recruitment problem when he failed to get the three-month ban dropped after five weeks.

He told the appeal: "I spoke to three people who had just finished university and asked whether they would consider driving 18 hours a day. There was no uptake.

"They would work from 6am to 11pm with seven to eight hours sitting in the car when not driving.

"I would have to have two drivers. They can only drive for nine hours a day.

"I don't think it's realistic or feasible," he added at Nottingham crown court .

He said that he had already been forced into 15 redundancies at a shop refitting firm because a contract was lost when he missed a presentation.

Hardy, who also owns Notts County FC, was given a three-month ban at a magistrates' court under "totting up" rules linked to points on his licence.

It could have been for six months but was halved because of "exceptional hardship" caused to employees and his family.

Recorder Rachel Brand QC, who sat with two magistrates, refused the appeal. She pointed out that it had been his second speeding offence in five days.

He admitted doing 77mph during a temporary 40mph limit on the A52 Clifton Boulevard on March 5.

In rejecting the appeal, the recorder said: "That was a generous and appropriate reduction.

"Mr Hardy is obviously resourceful with resources in a broader sense. He has financial resources which put him in a better position than many people who are disqualified from driving.

"He could clearly afford to employ a chauffeur on a full-time basis. Quite clearly they could carry him hither and thither."

Up to the time of the ban, his firm won 87 per cent of contracts but this dropped to 43 per cent because of his inability to be present to talk to potential customers.

Christopher Martin, who represented him, said there had been "exceptional hardship" and told the court: "There are two prongs, the business side and the family side.

"The 35 days disqualified has had a negative impact. The hardship has already been keenly felt," he added for Hardy of Bleasby Road, Bleasby.

Outside court, Hardy said: "I owed it to my business and my family to put my case forward." He must pay £260 costs.