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Courts target motorists

Special traffic courts will be set up across our region to deal with traffic-light jumpers and speeding motorists after being trialled in Kent, Hampshire and Essex.

The Government has said that the new courts will free up time in magistrates' courts for more serious cases.

About half a million motoring cases are heard in magistrates' courts every year and often take longer to progress than major offences, the Ministry of Justice has said.

The new courts are part of a plan to improve Britain's Criminal Justice system.

The Institute of Advanced Motoring says they agree with the plans.

"We welcome the focus on improving detection rates and investigation time for serious offences. Many families are rightly upset when the death or serious injury of a loved one appears to attract a short ban or fine. Speeding and red light running are still serious ofences however and these new courts could also help end the scandal of drivers still being allowed on the road after they have amassed more than 12 points."

– Neil Greig, Director of policy and research at Institute of Advanced Motorists


Men sentenced for smuggling

Five men have been sentenced for money laundering and smuggling offences after undercover operations by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Enough tobacco to make 6m cigarettes was seized during raids in Kent and Surrey. The total duty evaded on the seized goods is estimated as £500,000.

Paul Barton, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HMRC said: “This gang was motivated solely by greed and personal gain. If they had not been stopped they would have flooded local markets with cheap unregulated tobacco."

The gang included Jake Andrew White, who's 24, Nile Road, Gillingham, in Kent. He pleaded guilty to the evasion of excise duty, money laundering and harbouring tobacco goods. He was sentenced to two years in jail. Officers found 50,000 smuggled cigarettes at his home.

Three jailed for leaving man to die in burning car

Three people were locked up today over the brutal killing of a TV executive who was beaten and left to die in a burning car.

Harvinder Shoker was given a life sentence and will serve a minimum of 22 yearsfor murdering Gagandip Singh, 21, in February last year.

He and Darren Peters beat Mr Singh unconscious and bundled him into the boot ofa car that was set on fire. Peters was sentenced to 12 years for Mr Singh's manslaughter.

Medical student Mundill Mahil lured Mr Singh to the scene of the attack. She was given six years for grievous bodily harm.