111mph driver’s short ban sparks anger

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A MOTORIST caught speeding at 111mph escaped with just a one-month driving ban – so he could drive his son’s football team to matches.

Former Scottish Government worker Callum Percy was caught on the A1 by police officers using a radar gun.

But in court, Sheriff Peter Braid said he was “recognising the impact” a longer ban would have on others.

His decision today came under fire from road safety campaigners, who said Percy deserved a tougher sentence.

Percy, from Strachan Road, Blackhall, admitted driving his Vauxhall Insignia at up to 111mph on the A1 at around 10.45am on June 17.

Haddington Sheriff Court heard that the driver was caught speeding exactly one year on from his wife’s death, after which he was forced to retire as a civil servant to look after his 13-year-old son.

His defence said a ban for his client would result in the 54-year-old having to give up a coaching role with his son’s team.

The solicitor said: “He had other things on his mind as it was the first anniversary of his wife’s death, and he is deeply shocked and ashamed at being caught driving at such a speed.”

But road safety chiefs said Percy could consider himself fortunate.

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: “Anyone who drives at that sort of excessive, dangerous speed can count themselves lucky not to have caused a crash, which could easily be fatal.

“In this case, the man can also count himself fortunate not to receive a more severe sentence. Let’s hope he has learned his lesson, especially if he does drive children to football practice.”

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: “It creates the idea that if you get a good lawyer and argue hardship then you can get away with it. The sheriff should have been harder on the driver to send out the right message.”

Percy was also fined £400.

Sheriff Peter Braid said: “The speed was so high the public interest outweighs your personal circumstances, so some period of disqualification is appropriate so I am going to disqualify you. Recognising the impact that will have on others, I’m going to restrict that to one month.”