MOTORISTS are being warned they will be prosecuted after police caught a string of Cumbrian drivers doing hair-raising speeds on county roads.

A father-of-four from west Cumbria has admitted driving at nearly 120mph on the A595 Distington bypass, while another motorist from Whitehaven admitted reaching 128mph on the same road.

In just one morning, magistrates sitting at Carlisle’s Rickergate court handed out driving bans to several motorists convicted of speeding.

Some have seen their job prospects ruined as a result.

One of the worst cases was 43-year-old Stuart Dockray, from Beckermet, near St Bees.

He admitted speeding after the court was told how a police officer clocked his south-bound BMW racing past at 118mph on the A595 Distington bypass on August 10. The dual carriageway’s speed limit is 70mph.

Wayne Dove, prosecuting, said the defendant was spotted by a police officer at 9.07pm, while other vehicles were also on the road.

Addressing the court, Dockray said: “I stupidly put my foot down while overtaking slow-moving traffic. It was just out of character. I normally drive slowly because I know fuel consumption is factor.”

Asked about the impact of a possible driving ban, Dockray said it could cost him his job.

He told the court: “I have an 80-mile [round-trip] commute from Beckermet to Wigton; and I have four young children. The nearest public transport is several miles away. If I had no licence, I’d struggle.” His employer did not know about the speeding offence, he said.

Magistrates imposed a 14-day ban.

“It was a very high speed,” said presiding magistrate Nick Swinscoe. “We’re not even talking about the motorway. It was 118mph - you don’t accidentally get to that.” Noting the defendant’s previously clean licence, magistrates also imposed a £588 fine, with £85 costs and a £58 victim surcharge.

The next case was 40-year-old Neil Lindsay, who drove at between 115mph and 125mph the A591 towards Kendal on August 27.

The prosecutor said a police motorcyclist spotted the defendant at 7.30pm, his attention caught by the speed of BMW 320 racing past him. The officer reached 130mph as he pursued Lindsay’s car. The defendant ‘s 100mph plus journey continued for more than three miles.

Lindsay, who runs an MOT garage in Morecambe, where he lives, apologised, saying: “I fully accept responsibility and have no excuse whatsoever. But my business will be affected by this.”

After hearing that he had been banned in 2017, magistrates imposed a fresh 42-day disqualification. “With your job you are fully aware of the speed regulations so we view this as a serious offence,” said Mr Swinscoe.

The bench also imposed a £594 fine, with costs and a victim surcharge, giving a £738 total cost.

Also prosecuted was 22-year-old Jordan Shaw, who lost his job as a car salesman partly after his offence triggered a workplace investigation. He admitted doing 110mph on the A66 at Slapstones, near Penrith.

“I’m deeply sorry for driving at that speed,” he said. “There’s no excuse. There was a lot of pressure on me at work. I sold a cars for a living and sold one to a customer up here, which he failed to pick up...I had a call from him, saying he needed to go to work so I just put my foot down and didn’t realise how fast I was going.”

Shaw, from west Yorkshire, pleaded not to be banned, saying he needed his licence to work. He supported his family - including his father, recently diagnosed with MS. Magistrates imposed a 28-day ban, a £120 fine, and £85 costs, with a £30 victim surcharge.

Brandon Lee O’Connor, 19, of Snaefell Terrace, Whitehaven, was given a 14-day ban and a £136 fine, and £85 costs, after he admitted driving at 56mph in Preston Street, Whitehaven, where the limit is 30mph.

Two speeders escaped bans. Dr Hannah Rose Edmundson Watson, 25, admitted driving her BMW at 87mph on the M6 near Carlisle on May 18 last year. Magistrates ruled that a ban combined with her working NHS shifts would amount to exceptional hardship. They imposed three penalty points and a £170 fine, with £85 costs and a £30 surcharge. Also spared was Noaman Rauf, 26, who did 99mph on the M6 near Carlisle. He was fined £264, with a £30 surcharge and £85 costs. He was on his way to Scotland with a friend to pick up a wedding suit. Though a new driver, his work as a delivery driver last year saw him cover 20,000 miles without incident, said Mr Toms.

“If he was given to speeding, he would have picked up points,” said the lawyer. Magistrates imposed five points, and meaning the defendant just escaped a ban. (Probationary drivers - those with less than two years experience - are banned if they accumulate 6 points).