AN ambulance commander who was first at the scene of the Grenfell Tower tragedy has escaped a driving ban after he was caught speeding at more than 115mph.

David Hickling, 46, of Oakwood Close, Benfleet, admitted to driving at 116mph on a motorway in Flintshire, Wales.

Hickling, a father of one who was said to be going through “a messy divorce”, admitted to breaking the 70mph speed limit on the A55 road.

He already had six points on his licence.

He appeared at Flintshire Magistrates Court where he was fined £500 with £85 costs – and was ordered to pay a £50 surcharge.

His barrister, Phil Williams told the court that if he was banned from driving, Hickling, who had received The Queen’s Award for long service and good conduct, would lose his job.

He received the award after he was one of the first at Grenfell Tower in June last year, as well as being involved in the response to the Westminster Bridge attack.

He was part of the team that undertook the search and recovery of bodies at the tower.

The Mail Online reported that Mr Williams, said: “Notwithstanding everything, the dozens of dead bodies he had seen and people dying he wanted to continue because of his public duty.”

Hickling was off duty, driving to an anti-terrorist training course, when he was caught.

Brian Robertson, prosecuting, said that Hickling was driving a Volvo XC60 on the road near to Rhuallt when a police officer, parked on a slip road, clocked him driving at 46mph over the speed limit

The incident happened three weeks after the fire broke out at the London apartment block.

A psychologist’s report had shown the tragedy had caused a huge amount of stress for Hickling, who is also a former Army serviceman.

He has been working as a bronze commander for the last eight years.

Hickling said he was “extremely sorry” for the offence and for the effect it may have on the ambulance service.

The Mail Online reported Chairman, Terry Eastham, told Hickling: “You hold a hugely important senior post with the London Ambulance Service and you have attended recent events of worldwide significance and interest. Society is grateful for such people and the personal cost involved can never truly be known. The court today primarily has a case before it of speeding – 116mph in a 70mph limit area clearly is totally unacceptable and puts other road users at incredible risk.

“Normally the driving speed on this occasion would incur a ban but we have read extensive extenuating documents on the defendant’s life and career. The defendant is a valued and talented member of the ambulance service and society should be grateful that such people exist.”