A Porsche driver who was caught driving at nearly 60mph in a 30mph zone has avoided a driving ban because it “could adversely affect” production of coronavirus vaccines.

At a hearing at High Wycombe Magistrates Court on Tuesday, April 27, the court heard how Helen O’Callaghan, of Chester Road in Birmingham, was caught on a speed camera driving at 57mph in Watlington Road, Oxfordshire.

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At the hearing, the 44-year-old Porsche driver pleaded guilty to breaking the speed limit in a 30mph zone on February 24, 2020.

Ms O’Callaghan was fined £660, ordered to pay £156 costs and had six points put on her licence, but a note on the court document stated that she would not receive a driving ban because of the impact it could have on production of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.

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The note states: “Mitigating circumstances: bench find exceptional hardship – it is a condition of Ms O’Callaghan’s employment and in the current circumstances, if she were to be disqualified, it could adversely affect production of the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

The vaccine, produced jointly by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, is one of a handful approved for use in the UK.

So far, more than 35million people around the country have been vaccinated against coronavirus.

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