A MINISTER who already had nine points on his licence escaped a driving ban. At Welshpool Court the Rev Tudur Rowlands, 74, of Rhewl, Ruthin, pleaded guilty to driving at 40 miles per hour, in a 30 miles per hour area in Talybont on May 10, 2014. Justin Espie, prosecuting, told the court that Rowlands was stopped for the offence at around 10am on the morning in question and officers were made aware of the fact he still had nine points on his licence. These were for three previous speeding offences in the last three years.Rowlands argued exceptional hardship and told the court how he had been a minister for 46 years and in the last four years had become part- time. However, he was still in charge of 10 chapels and travelled over vast areas of countryside to visit and preach to people in their homes as they could not get to church. He argued that if he was disqualified this would not happen.When cross examining Rowlands, Mr Espie questioned whether he would lose his job or his home as a result of the disqualification, to which he replied he would not. Rowlands argued that a disqualification would affect the spiritual health of communities if he could not get to certain people, as they were lonely and had nobody else to call upon. He also apologised for the offence, and believed he had learned his lesson after repeating the offence multiple times. Magistrates accepted his argument of exceptional hardship and fined him £70, ordered him to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £20.