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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 January 2006, 16:33 GMT
Chitty star's two-hour drive ban
Heather Ripley in a scene from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Heather Ripley in a scene from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
A woman who starred in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was banned from driving for two hours - until a sheriff admitted he had made a mistake.

Former child actress Heather Ripley, 46, of Findhorn, Forres, was initially disqualified for 12 months after she admitted driving without a licence.

But Sheriff Robert McCreadie overturned his decision after it was pointed out that he had no right to ban Ripley.

Instead he imposed four penalty points on her licence at Perth Sheriff Court.

Ripley, who was also fined 175 by the sheriff, was stopped after police saw her driving erratically on the A9 north of Perth in December 2004.

She had sent off for a new licence, but the application had become lost in the post
Mike Tavendale
Defence lawyer

Routine checks found that she did not have a valid driving licence at the time.

Solicitor Mike Tavendale, defending, said: "She had sent off for a new licence, but the application had become lost in the post.

"She hadn't appreciated she should not have driven until the licence was actually received by her."

He said his client was now unemployed and living on 55 state benefit per week.

The sheriff initially imposed a ban - but two hours later Mr Tavendale returned to court to point out that it was only possible to impose a sentence of between three and six penalty points.

Appropriate penalty

Sheriff McCreadie said: "In the circumstances I should impose penalty points. Given the circumstances narrated to me it would be inappropriate to impose the full six points.

"The appropriate penalty would be four points and the removal of any reference to disqualification."

Ripley played Jemima in the 1968 film after being chosen from thousands of hopefuls while still a school pupil in Dundee.


SEE ALSO:
Chitty star in eviction wrangle
17 Aug 99 |  Scotland


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