Driver waited six months to claim record-time trip across Britain to avoid speeding prosecution, court hears

Phoebe Southworth
·3-min read
Thomas Davies with his specially adapted Audi A5 S5 with a 4.2 litre engine
Thomas Davies with his specially adapted Audi A5 S5 with a 4.2 litre engine

A driver who made a record-time trip from one end of Britain to the other waited six months to claim the title to avoid prosecution, a court heard, as he faces charges for dangerous driving.

Thomas Davies, 29, completed the 837-mile journey from Land's End in Cornwall to John O'Groats in Scotland in September 2017, in what he claimed was the fastest ever land time of nine and a half hours.

However, Davies, from Corwen in North Wales, is now on trial accused of driving "extremely dangerously" in his specially adapted Audi A5 S5 with a 4.2 litre engine in order to achieve the feat.

He is also accused of declaring his record six months later to avoid being prosecuted for any speeding offences. In the UK, legal proceedings for speeding offences must be brought within six months of the incident.

Watch: Driver who live-streamed himself speeding at 120mph jailed

Prosecutor Ryan Murray told Truro Crown Court: "This is a case about two tips of the UK - John O'Groats in the north of Scotland and Land's End here in Cornwall and the defendant's ambition to travel from one of those points to the other, in a motor vehicle quicker than anyone else had ever done before. It is also about, the prosecution say, illegal methods that he used to achieve his ambition."

He said that holding a record is "worth very little if you can’t tell the world about it".

“Why did he wait until April 2018? It appears that that was a deliberate decision," said Mr Murray. "Speeding in this country must be prosecuted within six months of it happening. It is clear that the defendant knew that and thought that if he waited more than six months he could not be prosecuted.”

Mr Murray said it would normally take around 15 hours to travel from Land's End to John O'Groats, but Davies managed to do it in nine hours and 36 minutes.

He said Davies would have had to be driving "very fast" in order to achieve that time, with an average speed of around 89mph.

"Speed records are, after all, not easily broken by vehicles that travel slowly," he added.

Police raided Davies' home in August 2018 and searched the car he used to complete the record-breaking journey.

They found two transponders under the front registration plate and two under the rear, which are used to detect speed traps. Officers also found an 80-litre fuel tank in the car boot, which the prosecution claim was unsealed and free to rattle around.

Davies is charged with two counts of dangerous driving, which refer to his manner of driving on roads including the M6, M5 and A30, and for having the additional fuel tank in the back of his car.

He is also charged with two counts of perverting the course of justice for displaying false number plates to avoid speed traps, and for kitting out his Audi with the speed-trap detectors. He faces an additional charge of using false registration plates.

Davies denies all the charges.

During the trip, the endurance driver is said to have encountered just one red traffic light, sailed past 50 speed cameras and journeyed through 15 police constabularies - and only made one stop.

Neal Champion, a motorbike rider, held the previous record for the trip, completing it in 11 hours 14 minutes at an average speed of 78.7mph in 1984.

Watch: Police Helicopter Pursues Motorbike Hitting 180 mph on UK Motorway