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Last Updated: Monday, 14 May 2007, 19:29 GMT 20:29 UK
Child lap motorist spared prison
Richard Hill outside court
Richard Hill was convicted of dangerous driving
A man who drove at up to 85mph as his three-year-old daughter climbed on and off his lap has avoided a prison term.

Businessman Richard Hill, who was seen speeding in a 70mph zone near Colwyn Bay, north Wales, had already been convicted of dangerous driving.

He was witnessed steering while trying to settle the girl with his left hand.

Hill, 33, who lives in Shropshire and Manchester, was ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid community service by a judge at Warrington Crown Court on Monday.

It's a pretty shocking thing for you to have done
Judge Nicholas Woodward

He was also banned from driving for 12 months, after which he will have to pass an extended retest before he can take to the roads again.

A police officer in an unmarked car spotted Hill on the A55 watching his daughter instead of the road.

When the officer pulled him over on 8 June last year, Hill said: "She's feeling a bit sick but, you're right, she should have been strapped in."

Hill drove his black Jaguar XJ6 at more than 70mph (112.65km/h) in a 50mph (80.47km/h) zone while allowing the girl to move unrestrained around the front seats.

He then increased his speed to 85mph (136.79km/h) in the 70mph zone of the A55.

'Great concern'

The father-of-three, who has homes in both Oswestry, Shropshire, and Great Ancoats, Manchester, was convicted of dangerous driving following a trial at Caernarfon Crown Court in March.

Judge Nicholas Woodward said: "You were driving at over 70mph in that 50mph section.

"But of great concern to me was the fact that your young daughter was moving about the car, sitting on your knee and wholly distracting you from the driving process.

"There was no proper seating arrangement in the car available for her.

"Frankly, it's a pretty shocking thing for you to have done."

85mph driver had toddler on lap
13 Mar 07 |  North West Wales

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