Name mix-up with actor results in speeding let-off for explorer
Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has not been prosecuted for an alleged speeding offence in Northwich, Cheshire, because the Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) was not addressed to him but to actor Ralph Fiennes, who is a distant cousin.
This is the second time Sir Ranulph, who is the oldest person to have climbed Everest and participated in many other adventurous treks, has had a motoring offence allegation against him dropped when his identification details have been recorded incorrectly.
A speed camera in Northwich apparently showed he was driving a hire car at 50mph within a 40mph limit in October 2009 but a NIP was sent to the wrong address and naming him as Ralph. A reminder was also sent there in the same name. Sir Ranulph was then charged with the more serious driving offence of failing to furnish details about a driver but that, too, was sent to the wrong place and addressed to Ranulph Feinnes.
His solicitor, who persuaded the Crown Prosecution Service to drop the case because of the identity mix-up, was also able to reclaim his client's legal expenses.
In a similar alleged speeding case in November 2008, in Shropshire, Sir Ranulph was again able to avoid prosecution when his name was variously spelt Ran Flenns and Ran Fiennes rather than his full forename.