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Spared a driving ban for speeding, 90m Mountbatten heir who 'can't afford taxis'
00:21 GMT, 24 December 2012
He is a relative of the Queen and in line to inherit a large part of his father’s 90million fortune.
But it seems Lord Henry David Mountbatten’s vast family wealth doesn’t stretch to the cost of taxi fares.
The son of the Queen’s cousin has escaped a driving ban for speeding after telling a court he could not afford to take a train and a taxi to his regular flying lessons.
The 21-year-old, who is the son of the
4th Marquess of Milford Haven, was caught driving at 70mph in a 40mph
Magistrates can fine the driver up to 1,000 and either disqualify
them or add points to their licence.
Lord Henry David Mountbatten, pictured leaving the magistrates' court, escaped a driving ban for speeding after telling a court he could not afford to take trains and taxis to flying lessons
A lawyer representing the aristocrat told City of London Magistrates Court that his client needed his car every morning to drive to Wycombe Air Park in Buckinghamshire where he was training for his pilot’s licence.
The young peer, known as Harry Medina, lives with his parents in Knightsbridge and receives an 800-a-month allowance from his father.
The 21-year-old is the son of the fourth Marquess of Milford Haven, pictured with his wife Clare
Despite his generous allowance, he spends all the money he gets from his father on living expenses, petrol and social life. The court heard he had been unable to save any money.
Paul Jarvis, defending, said: ‘The airport is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, it is very much a rural environment and there is no public transport to take him there.
‘This is a responsible young man who is well aware of his obligations and wants to make his own way in life. He is supported by his family, but is not wholly dependent on them.’
The aristocrat, who holds the title of Earl of Medina, is the son of George Ivar Louis Mountbatten, the 4th Marquess of Milford Haven. The marquess founded the internet company uSwitch, the price comparison and switching website, and sold it at the height of the boom for more than 100million.
He is also the great grandson of Louis Mountbatten, the 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, who died in 1921 and was Prince Philip’s grandfather.
The Earl of Medina, who is in line to inherit his father’s title, is studying the structure and development of airport infrastructure at the University of Buckinghamshire.
He has six months of daily lessons to complete for his pilot’s licence.
Mr Jarvis said: ‘If you take his [driving] licence away from him, the effects are likely to be financial and also result in delays and late attendance, something he can ill-afford at this point in his education. If he needs to go every day for six months, he would have to take the train to Wycombe station then a taxi there and back. That’s not cheap.’
Mr Jarvis said Medina was apologetic to officers when he was stopped and is ‘remorseful’ for his actions.
‘Perhaps when police first saw him, they might have formed the impression this is a young man from a well-to-do family, supported by his parents, driving a flash car with no consideration to other road users,’ said Mr Jarvis.
‘That first impression is not a sound impression. He has a clean driving licence and is not a reckless young man who routinely breaks the traffic laws.’
Police stopped Medina on October 11 at 8.25am in West London when an unmarked police car spotted him speeding in a VW Golf.
Mr Jarvis told the court Medina was following a white van going at high speeds and decided to speed up to avoid causing an accident with the car behind his.
‘He decided to try to keep his distance between the car behind him, but what he should have done if a car is coming up behind him travelling faster than he is, he should pull over into another lane and let that car go past.’
Jane Reynolds, chairman of the magistrates, said: ‘It seems clear to us you are aware of the stupidity of what you did, driving at a reckless speed that morning.’
Medina admitted speeding and was fined 130, ordered to pay 85 costs and a 20 victim surcharge.
Six points have been added to his licence.