Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby convicted of speeding days after King Charles’ Coronation

·2-min read
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby convicted of speeding days after King Charles’ Coronation

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has been convicted of speeding just days after he presided over the Coronation of King Charles III.

The 67-year-old religious leader was caught out by a speed camera on October 2 last year, as he drove his Volkswagen Golf along the Albert Embankment in central London towards his official residence at Lambeth Palace.

The Most Rev Welby was prosecuted at a private hearing on Wednesday where he was handed three penalty points and a £510 legal bill.

The conviction and sentence happened on the same day as a headline-grabbing intervention by the Archbishop in the House of Lords against the government’s Illegal Migration Bill.

Days earlier, the Archbishop played a starring role crowning King Charles at Westminster Abbey.

Court papers obtained by the Evening Standard show the Mr Welby was written to by the Metropolitan Police after he triggered the speed camera, and he admitted being behind the wheel.

The car was travelling at 25mph along the embankment which runs parallel with the River Thames, on a road where Transport for London introduced a 20mph limit three years ago.

The Notice of Intended Prosecution from the police was addressed to “Arch Justin Welby”, giving his home address as Lambeth Palace, while the Single Justice Procedure letter, sent in March, simply starts “Dear Welby”.

“On 02/10/2022 at 11.05am at A3036 Albert Embankment a motor vehicle activated a speed camera”, police worker Andrew Chapman said in a statement to the court.

“The speed recorded by means of RedSpeed SpeedCurb was 25 miles per hour.”

Mr Welby pleaded guilty online and was prosecuted through the Single Justice Procedure, allowing Lavender Hill magistrates court to deal with the case based on written evidence alone in a private hearing.

A court official said the Archbishop pleaded guilty and was handed three penalty points and a £300 fine. He was ordered to pay £90 in costs and a £120 victim surcharge, bringing the final legal bill to £510.

Lambeth Palace said the Archbishop admitted the offence but was unaware of the case being dealt with in court.

The press office said “admin errors” hampered three efforts to pay the fine and resolve the matter.