A FLEET motorist, who faces prosecution for speeding, claims he is another victim of number plate cloning.

Simon Reed was shocked when he received a notice from South Yorkshire police accusing him of speeding in Barnsley on January 26.

He said at his home in Albert Street: "My car was nowhere near Barnsley on that day, and now I'm having to prove it."

His Toyota Lexus, he claimed, was parked at his in-law's home 75 miles away in Cheshire at the time of the alleged speeding offence.

"I had flown back from Manchester to Heathrow earlier in the day, leaving the car with my wife," said Mr Reed, a financial analyst. "She was with her parents all day."

He has told South Yorkshire police his side of the story, but they have replied by sending him a copy of the speed camera photo.

To his amazement the car and number plate are identical to his - X977FDP - but he insists it is not his car.

He contacted the Star after reading how Sandhurst motorist Mrs Gill Milstead had been wrongly sent an £80 congestion charge ticket by Transport for London officials.

She proved that she was at work on the day a car with an identical registration number to her Renault had been caught travelling along the Old Kent Road.

What spooked Mr Reed was the similarity between his number plate and that of Mrs Millstead's, which is X773FDP.

It has left him wondering if criminals are cloning this particular range of numbers.

And to cynics who might think that he is trying to bamboozle the police, Mr Reed said: "Believe me, I wouldn't be going to all this trouble if I was in the wrong."