Duke Special was driving at 116mph
SINGER AVOIDS DISQUALIFICATION
SINGER DUKE Special, made an appearance at Dundalk court when he pleaded guilty to driving at speeds of up to 187kmph (116mph) on the M1 on his way home from a gig.
The Lisburn-born singer, who appeared before Judge Flann Brennan under his real name, Peter Wilson, was initially charged with dangerous driving at Gibbstown on August 22, but pleaded guilty to careless driving.
Inspector Brendan Cadden said Wilson, whose address was given as Lomond Avenue, Belfast, was spotted by Gardai at around 10pm because of his speed as he headed northwards.
Gardai saw the singer's car, a VW Sharan, hitting 170kmph, with 187kmph being reached at one stage.
The vehicle was stopped and Wilson (42) was summonsed for the offence.
Gardai said that while traffic was light, the road was wet.
Solicitor Eleanor Kelly said her client, whom she described as 'a self-employed singer', had ' held his hands up immediately'.
Ms Kelly said the 'Oh Pioneer' writer was driving back to Belfast from a gig 'down South' and the roads at the time were 'more or less empty' and her client ' took a chance'.
She said the court case had been 'an eye-opener' for the star who 'now realises the danger he was putting himself and other road users and he held his hands up immediately'.
Ms Kelly said Wilson 'wanted to plead to the charge the first day in court' but he was 'advised to speak to Gardai' and they had accepted the guilty plea to careless driving.
The solicitor added that her client was 'extremely embarrassed' to be in court and 'will never come before the courts again'.
Ms Kelly added that Wilson ' travels a lot for work' and needed his licence.
She said he had €200 in court and was willing to add that to the €200 already paid in bail money, as a contribution to the court.
Ms Kelly said: ' This was a once-off and I don't think he would do it again'.
Judge Brennan said the speed was 'excessive' and at that level, he would normally consider a disqualification.
He said he wouldn't go that far, but he would record a conviction and imposed a €350 fine.
Judge Brennan said: 'I won't disqualify him but if he drives like this again, I will. The speed was excessive'.
Judge Brennan allowed the singer to appeal in his own bond of €100.