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Duke star nabbed speeding at 187kph

A MUSICIAN who drove at up to 187kph on a motorway as he made his way home after a concert has been convicted of careless driving.

Peter Wilson (42), aka Duke Special, had been charged with dangerous driving on the M1 at Gibstown, Co Louth, on August 22 last year but Judge Flann Brennan was told that gardai would accept a guilty plea to the lesser offence of careless driving.

Wilson, of Lomond Avenue, Belfast, was driving on the northbound carriageway when gardai on routine patrol saw him "driving at a constant speed of 170kph and at 187kph at one stage", garda Inspector Brendan Cadden told Dundalk District Court. Insp Cadden said traffic had been light but the road surface was wet and it was getting dark. He said the defendant had no previous convictions.

Solicitor Eleanor Kelly, defending, said her client was a self-employed musician and was driving back to Belfast from a concert.

The roads were more or less empty and he took a chance which he now knows he should not have, she said. The solicitor said Mr Wilson was extremely apologetic and now realises the danger he put himself and other road users in.

He had held his hands up and was extremely embarrassed to be before the courts, she said.

Ms Kelly described the incident as "a once off" and said her client had €200 in court and he was prepared to make a donation to charity if the court was prepared to leave him without a conviction.

Judge Brennan said the excessive speed involved was "at a level I'd normally consider a disqualification".

But he said he would not do that but he was convicting him and fining him €350.