Hardship plea spares jockey Kieren Fallon driving ban
CHAMPION jockey Kieren Fallon was spared a driving ban after arguing he could not afford to add a full-time driver to his entourage.
The 46-year-old denied he was famous as he pleaded exceptional hardship at Lincoln Magistrates' Court yesterday to avoid an immediate six-month disqualification.
The six-time British Champion told the court he already had a part-time driver – costing £350 a week – an agent, secretary and valet.
But Fallon added with the horse racing industry in its current state, he could not shell out any extra cash on a full-time driver.
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The Irishman was convicted of failing to identify a driver caught speeding on the A1 at Barrowby, near Grantham, on May 1, 2010.
The car was registered to Fallon and clocked on camera travelling at 81mph in a 70mph limit.
The jockey, representing himself, said: "It would be impossible to employ a full-time driver to do what I have to do.
"Our work starts at 5am and we may not get back until after the last race at 9.30pm, with two hours travelling to get home. It's late and it's very difficult.
"It's seven days a week, with no time off."
Fallon, of Bury Road, Newmarket, added a ban would not prevent him attending race meetings, but would make it harder for him to secure rides and visit his children. He said the youngsters live with his ex-wife in Wigan and he meets her part way between the north west and his base at Newmarket so they can be handed over to him.
Prosecutor Jim Clare pushed Fallon to explain why he could not employ another driver to help out.
The defendant said it would be "very difficult".
Mr Clare continued: "I can appreciate it being difficult, but this court is interested in exceptional hardship, not just hardship.
"It's a difficult situation, but not exceptional hardship.
"It's going to be difficult I can imagine being in your position, and how famous you are, saying you can't employ a driver."
Fallow responded "was famous".
Mr Clare said: "You are still pretty famous, it has to be said Mr Fallon.
"Is there no way at all your wife would consider perhaps at weekends to ensure your children are brought to you?"
The jockey remarked: "She will not go back to Newmarket."
Magistrates agreed a disqualification for six months would cause exceptional hardship to Fallon's business and riding opportunities, while also causing difficulties about meeting his children.
Fallon was fined £2,770 and given six penalty points on his driving licence, taking his total up to 15.
He was also ordered to pay £150 toward prosecution costs and a £15 victims' surcharge.
Speaking after the hearing, Fallon told the Echo: "If you pay my fine, I will talk to you."