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Last Updated: Monday, 8 March, 2004, 16:23 GMT
Stalked presenter escapes ban
Lucy Cohen
The man who stalked Cohen is being held in a secure unit
ITV1 presenter Lucy Cohen has escaped a driving ban after she appealed to magistrates that she needed her car after she was stalked.

Newsreader Cohen, 33, clocked up 12 points after being caught on speed cameras driving to work.

She told Barry magistrates she needed security of her car after she was terrorised by a stalker two years ago.

Fining her 100, Chairman of the bench Ian Hamer said there were "exceptional circumstances."

The anchorwoman told the court about her experience being stalked by a man from Swansea in 2001.

"It was a very frightening and unpleasant experience," she said. "He was jailed for six months but after his release threats still came to the studio."

Uncomfortable

"He was jailed again but he's now been held in a secure hospital. It has left me very concerned for my personal safety. I feel vulnerable leaving work late at night."

She also said she was uncomfortable taking taxis on her own and was always looking over her shoulder, checking who was around.

We find that there are exceptional circumstances with regards to Miss Cohen's personal safety after her recent experience
Barry magistrates' chairman

Ms Cohen, from Cardiff, was driving her VW Golf at 42mph in 30mph zone when she was caught on a speed camera.

She already had nine points on her licence, but told magistrates she also needs her car for news reporting duties and charity work.

Her solicitor Stuart Hutton said: "She feels that the safety of a motor car is better than the fear of what might happen with alternative methods."

The court heard she had picked up six points for two speeding offences in 2001 and 2002 and another three for a bus lane offence in April last year.

Chairman of the bench Ian Hamer fined her 100 and ordered her to pay 35 costs.

He said: "In this case we find that there are exceptional circumstances with regards to Miss Cohen's personal safety after her recent experience. She has received continuing abusive and threatening correspondence."




SEE ALSO:
Warning letters for speeders
09 Jan 04  |  Wales


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