Chellaston company boss Jason Rowan fails to prove that driving ban could mean '62 job losses'

This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.

A business boss from Chellaston has been given a six-month speeding ban after failing to provide evidence that the disqualification would lead to the loss of 62 jobs.

Bentley-driving Jason Rowan, who is the managing director of the Ilkeston firm EnergySave, spent £12,000 fighting the case after being clocked at 57mph on February 3 last year on the A52 dual carriageway at Bramcote, where the limit is 40mph.

When found guilty the father-of-three, of Rosyth Crescent, launched a fresh claim, saying a disqualification would cause "exceptional hardship" with the loss of 62 jobs and the closure of two of his offices.

The 45-year-old claimed the company had already lost customers after a BBC Watchdog programme filmed a salesman for the firm talking to someone with Alzheimer's disease.

The company was accused of aggressive selling and targeting elderly or vulnerable people but Rowan said he was "astounded" by the claims which had been "sensationalised". He said this caused sales to plunge and he had to reduce his 300-strong workforce to 120 in two months.

But he failed to attend the hearing held at Nottingham Magistrates' Court or to provide details from an accountant to support his case that the ban would harm his business further and would lead to closing offices in Derby and Leicester with the loss of another 62 jobs.

District Judge Tim Spruce fined him £750 and ordered him to pay £930 prosecution costs and a Government surcharge of £120. The ban was imposed because he already had speeding points on his licence.

The judge said: "I find it very difficult for me to establish a link between Mr Rowan's ability to drive and the closure of two offices.

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"In the context of the size of the business and the number of employees, he could redeploy an employee as driver.

"I accept the disqualification will result in hardship. However it has to be exceptional hardship for me to exercise my discretionary power."

Jason Rowan says he will have to cut 62 jobs if he is handed a driving ban

Jason Rowan said he would have to cut 62 jobs if he is handed a driving ban

John Richards, defending, said Rowan did not want to disclose the company's financial details in open court.

He said that Rowan needed to drive to meet people upset by a BBC Watchdog case which criticised his firm EnergySave, of Ilkeston.

He told the court: "He is the face of the business, he is the voice of the business. He needs to be there speaking to disgruntled customers.

"I am sure, if the ban were shorter, he would be able to plug the gap."

When he appeared in court last month Rowan, 45, said: "We are trying to save the business. My own bank account is overdrawn.

"We have £40,000 turnover and on-profit margins, we are losing money on a weekly basis. We have got £67,000 going out in the wages bill, a £30,000 deficit every week."

He said it was not possible to employ one of his existing staff as a driver, telling the court: "People can't work the hours I work.

"The hours I work are absurd. I would need three people 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

He also said he had already spent £50,000 fighting the BBC over the programme and expected that figure to reach £150,000.

Rowan will appeal to the Crown Court over the ban. The judge refused an application for the driving ban to be suspended awaiting the outcome of that hearing.