Man’s first offence at age 88

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AN 88-year-old motorist has expressed his ‘deep regret’ after appearing in court having committed his first offence in 70 years of driving.

Gerald Richard Beales, of Shadwell Close, Weeting, appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday to plead guilty to a charge of failing to comply with a red light.

The offence took place at Brandon railway level crossing on May 23 at around 12.20pm.

Beales had driven through the red light in his green Toyota – only to realise his mistake moments later, according to his solicitor, Mark Thompson.

Beales, a grandfather, was driving from his home in Weeting towards Brandon High Street when he went through the red light.

He then spotted the barriers coming down in his rear view mirror.

Mr Thompson said it was the first blemish on Beales’ 70-year driving record.

“He finds it very disturbing that he should find himself in court at such a late time in life with no previous convictions,” he said.

Judge Celia Dawson delayed sentencing Beales until October 2.