Page last updated at 13:46 GMT, Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Businessman drove at 147mph on A9

Inverness Sheriff Court
McAllister was sentenced at Inverness Sheriff Court

A businessman has admitted driving at 147mph on the A9 - one of the highest speeds ever recorded on the road.

John McAllister, 42, from Alloa, was clocked doing more than twice the speed limit while travelling to the Rock Ness music festival.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard he was returning to the concert in Dores after buying tobacco for a friend from a cash and carry in Glasgow, 177 miles away.

He was given a two-year ban and ordered to pay an 800 fine for the offence.

The court was told that McAllister had been attending the festival on 8 June when a friend ran out of tobacco.

He jumped into his high-powered Mercedes and drove to a cash and carry in Glasgow.


His actions show that it is driver behaviour which leads to many collisions and had he lost control at this speed, he would inevitably have been killed and possibly killed other road users

Insp John Smith
Northern Constabulary

It was during his return trip at about 1830 BST that officers spotted him on the dual carriageway at Daviot, south of Inverness.

Depute fiscal Heather Swan said police officers were carrying out static speed checks when they spotted McAllister rapidly coming towards them.

She said: "He was followed and stopped. The driver identified himself as the accused and was informed of the speed restriction on the road. He was cautioned and charged and made no reply."

'Extremely reckless'

Defence lawyer Craig Wood said his client, who admitted a series of previous convictions including drug offences, fraud, forgery and traffic offences, ran a specialised horticultural supply business.

He had purchased the Mercedes car in 2005 when his company was doing well but Mr Wood added: "Earlier this year he closed his Aberdeen outlet and now employs five people.

"He also has an imminent divorce and his wife will be looking for a share of the business."

Sheriff Abercrombie told McAllister: "This is a very excessive speed indeed. You are very fortunate no other incident happened as a result of this speed."

The sheriff fined him 800 and disqualified him from the roads for two years, ordering him to re-sit the extended driving test once the ban was done.

Insp John Smith, the head of Northern Constabulary's road traffic section, said the sentence reflected the "extremely reckless nature" of his driving.

He added: "His actions show that it is driver behaviour which leads to many collisions and had he lost control at this speed, he would inevitably have been killed and possibly killed other road users."

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