Law firm helps bring justice in river Thames boat speeding case

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A MAN who was caught racing past the Houses of Parliament in a speedboat and made no attempt to stop when flagged down by police has been ordered to pay out almost £5,000.

Ross MacGregor, 26, drove his speedboat in a dangerous manner on the River Thames – hurtling through a busy section of the river more than 30mph over the speed limit.

Now MacGregor has been convicted after a successful prosecution by the Port of London Authority, which was represented by national law firm Blake Morgan.

The lawyer in the case, Tim Williamson, said MacGregor’s dangerous navigation risked his own life as well as others.

Westminster Magistrates Court heard MacGregor’s speedboat was heading downriver from Vauxhall Bridge past the Houses of Parliament through a congested section of river at high speed.

The speedboat was pursued by the Marine Policing Unit but made no attempt to slow down, despite officers activating the sirens and blue lights, the court was told. 

The speedboat was travelling at between 35 and 40 knots (up to 46mph). The speed limit is 12 knots (around 14mph).

The court was told MacGregor eventually stopped and when spoken to by the police said that he was not aware there was a speed limit on the river.

MacGregor told police racing took place on the river “all the time”, magistrates heard.

MacGregor left the country shortly afterwards and emailed the Port of London Authority to say that he was living in Asia and Australia and did not plan on returning to the UK any time soon, the court was told.

MacGregor failed to attend Westminster Magistrates Court in April of this year.

The court issued a warrant for his arrest.

As soon as MacGregor landed back in the UK in November, he was arrested and detained by police.

He was produced in custody at Westminster Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to the offence. 

MacGregor, of Badgers Copse, Camberley, in Surrey, was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,800.

Mr Williamson, a criminal and regulatory lawyer for Blake Morgan, said: “This case shows how seriously the Port of London Authority takes its responsibilities in ensuring the safety of those who use the river.

“This was dangerous navigation that risked the safety of not just the individual in question but other river users.

“The Port of London Authority acted to show this cannot be tolerated. 

“The prosecution by the Port of London Authority demonstrates that it takes these matters very seriously.”