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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 October, 2003, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Man drove using two phones
Mobile phone in car
A company director who admitted driving on a busy street while using two mobile phones has been fined 300.

Frank Bell, 37, chatted on one mobile while he searched for a phone number stored in another handset resting against the steering wheel of his car.

Bell, managing director of a chain of four pubs across Scotland, was stopped by police who spotted him driving erratically near his home in Haddington, East Lothian.

A sheriff told the father-of-one that his actions were the "height of stupidity" and warned him that his "foolish" behaviour had almost cost him his licence.

To use two mobile phones is the height of stupidity for someone in your position
Sheriff Kenneth Pritchard
Sheriff Kenneth Pritchard told him: "Driving is sufficiently difficult with the amount of traffic on the roads without the added distraction of mobile phones and to use two mobile phones is the height of stupidity for someone in your position."

Procurator Fiscal Helen Clark told Haddington Sheriff Court that Bell seemed oblivious to what was going on around him at the time.

She said: "He was driving an Audi and police noticed him talking on a mobile phone held to his left ear and using another mobile phone in his other hand which was resting on the steering wheel.

"The officers were under the impression that he did not have full control of the vehicle and didn't have sufficient regard for his surroundings."

Bell's lawyer said that the director realised his actions were wrong and that he depended on his licence to manage pubs in Dunbar, Edinburgh, Dundee and Perthshire.

'Moving slowly'

Defence agent Phil Templeton said: "Due to the volume of the traffic on the morning the car was only travelling about 10 or 15 miles an hour. The street was busy and the line of traffic was moving fairly slowly.

"Mr Bell is the managing director of a chain of pubs and he needs his licence for the running of the business. He travels a great deal.

"This clearly is careless driving by his own submission but it is at the lower end of the scale."

Mr Bell pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention and was dealt three penalty points as well as a fine.

Outside court he said he had been speaking to a colleague on one phone and was looking for a phone number stored in the other.

He refused to comment further.

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