A GRIEF-stricken husband who tried to avoid speeding fines by using his dead wife's name has narrowly avoided an immediate prison sentence.
Judge Peter Benson said he had ''grave misgivings'' about suspending Christopher Bingley's six-month jail term, but he was persuaded not to lock him up because of the impact it would have on his young daughter.
Bradford Crown Court heard today that 44-year-old Bingley was acting on ''auto-pilot'' when he repeatedly filled in speeding notices sent out in his dead wife Joanne's name.
In fact Bingley, who had previous convictions for motoring offences, had been behind the wheel of his wife's Jeep Cherokee when he was caught speeding on four occasions between August 2010 and April 2011.
Prosecutor Shamaila Qureshi said three fixed penalty notices were paid using Joanne Bingley's details and nine penalty points were put on her licence, but after the fourth incident the case was listed to be heard at Barnsley Magistrates Court because his wife faced being disqualified from driving as a ''totter''.
Bingley attended at the court building with a Coroner's letter and said his wife had passed away, but when further enquiries were made by the police the video footage showed that the vehicle driver was a white male.
When he was questioned by police Bingley said he had been filling in a lot of legal forms and didn't recall the speeding documents.
He said he had probably been driving the car, but said he was under a lot of pressure following his wife's death.
''He said he was on auto-pilot in the period of time after his wife's death,'' said Miss Qureshi.
The court was told that unemployed Bingley's world had been destroyed over the last two years since his wife's tragic death.
Mrs Bingley, 39, was killed after she threw herself in front of a First Transpennine train from Hull to Manchester, near Deighton station on April 30, 2010.
Bingley blamed his wife’s death on post-natal depression (PND) and set up a charity to highlight the illness in February last year.
Barrister Claire Moran told Judge Benson that her client had now resigned from the charity to avoid any adverse publicity affecting its work and she also revealed that he faced bankruptcy proceedings and possible eviction from his home in Allison Drive, Fartown.