111mph Boots executive let off with £500 fine
A high-flying business executive has escaped a driving ban after being caught travelling at almost twice the speed limit in his Porsche GT3 sports car.
Marco Pagni (49), group legal counsel and chief administrative officer of Alliance Boots, the high street chemist, was detected driving at 111mph on the A4 Enniskillen to Belfast road at Lisbellaw last October 16.
The road is subject to the general speed limit of 60mph. He was fined £500 and given five penalty points. A prosecutor told Fermanagh Court that when police stopped Pagni he told them: "I'm sorry."
The A4 is the main road from the west to Belfast and has seen a number of fatalities.
The judiciary in Fermanagh has warned in the past that anyone exceeding 100mph would automatically lose their licence for a period. Defence barrister Brian Fee described Pagni as a "very successful businessman" who was born and brought up in Northern Ireland. It's understood he earns in excess of £1m per year.
The Dungannon man now lives at Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire, England.
Handing in a letter from Boots, Mr Fee told District Judge Mervyn Bates that the company has a very significant number of branches and Pagni's job requires him to undertake a substantial amount of travel each year.
He said a lot of people were dependent on Mr Pagni and he was responsible for around 115,000 employees.
It's understood he was on a visit to the Boots branch in Enniskillen when he was detected speeding.
He submitted that the gravity of the case could be marked by a significant financial penalty rather than a driving disqualification, pointing out that Mr Pagni already had six penalty points endorsed on his licence - three for a previous speeding offence and three for using a mobile phone while driving.
Mr Fee said this was Pagni's first time in court for speeding.
Pagni has held senior management positions in McDonald's and Texas Instruments. He started his career as a law lecturer at Oxford University before becoming a barrister.