A FARMER with 39 points already on his driving licence was caught speeding five times by the same speed camera in just eight days in a 30mph zone, a court has been told.

Colin Martin Fowler, aged 58, Trenoweth Farm, Gweek, Helston was due to appear for sentencing today (Thursday) at Truro Magistrates' Court after being proved in his absence at a trial on September 28 to which he also failed to appear.

Fowler was caught speeding in a Land Rover Discovery by the same speed camera exceeding 30mph on the A394 at Longdowns near Penryn on five separate occasions in February. The camera recorded him speeding on February 11, twice on February 15, February 16 and February 18 this year.

He was ordered to appear in court today for disqualification to be considered but failed to appear and did not provide a reason as to why he was not there. Magistrates heard that notices had been sent to his address for him to attend.

Fowler was caught by the newly installed multi-directional speed camera which was put up at Longdowns in February and caught out over 700 drivers in its first week.

The prosecution said Fowler should have been in court for a trial on the 28th of September but contacted the court and said he wasn't coming, saying he had a chest infection - but he did not provide any medical evidence as requested.

"As a result the prosecutor on this day with all five matters listed sought to prove them in his absence and it was agreed that each of those matter was proved in his absence," said the prosecutor.

"He was sentenced for all of those and disqualification is inevitable. He already has 39 points on his driving licence. He has used mitigating circumstances previously."

She said he had not responded to any warrants and asked for a warrant for his arrest to be issued to which the chair of the bench replied: "So he's basically putting two fingers up to the court."

She added: "He's got 39 points on his licence, he should not be on the road."

Magistrates felt he was sending a message of mockery to the courts by not attending and decided to issue a warrant backed with bail to attended court on November 17 to hear his sentence personally so he could did not claim he did not know he had been disqualified.

It is not known why Fowler was still allowed to drive with 39 points on his licence, but it was suggested it was because of his farm work.

The DVLA says in a small percentage of cases where the driver has accumulated 12 or more penalty points, the agency understands that a court can exercise its discretion and not disqualify the driver.

In the majority of these cases, magistrates may have decided to allow drivers to retain their entitlement to drive where it is considered that disqualification would cause exceptional hardship.