AN OFF-DUTY police officer was clocked doing 78mph in a 50mph zone on the A56 Haslingden by-pass.

Blackburn magistrates could have banned Laurence James Ridge but instead imposed six penalty points after being told it would hamper his ability to do his job as a response officer.

The court heard that Ridge, who lives in Colne, is currently with the Greater Manchester Constabulary based in Rochdale but is soon to transfer to Lancashire Constabulary.

Paul Reddy, defending, said a 56-day disqualification would cause his client extreme difficulties in doing his job.

"If you follow the alternative and put six points on his licence he will be treading on egg shells," said Mr Reddy.

Reddy, 23, pleaded guilty speeding. He was fined £259 with £100 costs and £30 victim surcharge.

The chairman of the magistrates said they were mindful of the important job that Ridge did.

"This is a very serious offence given that you are a police officer," said the chairman.

"The A56 is well known for people speeding and you should know better."