Banned lorry driver jailed after being caught speeding on M23

Hughie McGonnell.
Hughie McGonnell.

A lorry driver, banned from the roads for drink-driving, has been jailed after being caught speeding on the M23 near Crawley.

Hughie McGonnell, of County Armagh, Northern Ireland, was caught driving a 44-tonne articulated lorry at 75mph along the northbound carriageway on Thursday, April 20. The speed limit for that class of vehicle on a motorway is 60mph.

Seized lorry.

Seized lorry.

Police said the 25-year-old was already serving a five-year ban for a previous drink-driving offence.

The vehicle was seized, and McGonnell was arrested and charged with driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

He pleaded guilty and at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday June 14 and was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison.

He was also disqualified from driving for a further 15 months, and ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.

PC Jon Bennion-Jones, of the Arundel Roads Policing Unit, said: “McGonnell was driving an articulated HGV (heavy goods vehicle) above the speed limit the vehicle is allowed to travel at, while on a driving ban. The prison sentence handed to him reflects the seriousness of the offence and his total disregard for his previous driving ban.”

Surrey and Sussex Police are carrying out a joint summer crackdown on drink and drug-driving.

Anyone with any information about offenders is asked to report it online or text 65999.

Alternatively, you can visit the Crimestoppers website or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.