A HAMPSHIRE solicitor has today revealed how motorists who were prosecuted after being caught by a speed camera can get their money back and penalty points cancelled.

Barry Culshaw said drivers who were clocked by the speed camera in Redbridge Road, Southampton, during a temporary speed restriction in place between September and December 2004 should demand their case be re-opened at court.

His advice comes after the Daily Echo revealed how hundreds of motorists caught by the same speed camera could have their court conviction overturned because of a legal blunder.

This week Southampton Crown Court upheld an appeal from drivers Barrie Wells and Michael Halliwell that they were prosecuted under the wrong section of traffic legislation.

They both took their case to court arguing that inadequate signage made them unaware that the normal 50mph speed limit was subject to a 30mph restriction.

After being found guilty of speeding they lodged an appeal which was upheld because they were prosecuted under the wrong legislation.

Mr Culshaw, their defence solicitor who helped prepare their case, said that potentially hundreds of motorists among the 5,500 people clocked by the camera and summoned to court could now apply to have their cases re-opened.

He said that people who were automatically summoned to court, including those who were driving excessively fast or those who had totted up 12 points on their licence, could apply to have their case re-opened on the grounds they were convicted under the wrong legislation. This would be under section 142 of the Magistrates' Court Act.

However, those drivers who refused to pay their £60 fixed penalty notice and pleaded not guilty to speeding in court would have to apply to the Crown Court for what is known as an appeal for leave out of time.' He said: "I would urge anyone who thinks they may be able to have their case reopened to get in touch. If we get lots of people coming out of the woodwork we could have one hearing in front of one judge.

"I think it's important that people try to do something but at this stage I don't know exactly how many people are going to be involved.

"It is a very unusual situation," said Mr Culshaw of Blake Lapthorn Tarlo Lyons in Fareham.

However, it is unlikely legal aid will be available for motorists to take their case to court although if successful motorists will be able to get all their prosecution costs paid, fines repaid, and penalty points cancelled.