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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 June, 2005, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Man cleared of 156mph BMW charge
Ronald Klos
Ronald Klos had denied he was driving the car
A man has been found not guilty of driving at 156mph while holding a mobile phone to his ear.

A sheriff ruled that the Crown had not served a notice of prosecution on Ronald Klos, 37, who denied driving dangerously on the A92 in Fife.

Mr Klos was allegedly caught on camera in his BMW M3 CSL near Kirkcaldy during a speeding crackdown in May last year.

Sheriff Paul Arthurson said the Crown could not bring an alternative charge of culpable and reckless conduct.

The Crown Office said in a statement: "We are aware of the decision of the court. There was an administrative error in this case and that's clearly regrettable.

"Procedures are being examined to prevent this happening again."

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court was shown a video recorded in a police van used to monitor and record traffic speeds.

Laser system

The laser-based equipment in the van could register the speed of a car in a third of a second, the court heard.

Further examination of the pictures revealed that the driver was holding what appeared to be a mobile phone to his ear.

Mr Klos, from Markinch, told the trial that he had left his car at the home of a friend the previous night because he had been drinking.

BMW M3 CSL (picture courtesy of BMW)
A BMW M3 CSL can do 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds

He said he had taken his daughter to a swimming pool using his wife's car at the time the police allegedly recorded him driving his BMW at more than twice the speed limit.

When questioned by police he said he had no idea who had driven the BMW at the time of the alleged offences. He had denied that a picture taken by the speed camera of the driver looked "exactly" like him.

Under cross-examination, the camera operator admitted that in his statement he had said he could not identify who was driving.

The car was one of 200 caught on camera during the weekend operation by Fife Police.

Sheriff Arthurson said he found all the Crown witnesses credible but that he was forced by a matter of law to return a not guilty verdict.

The BMW M3 CSL is said to have an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. Its 3.2litre engine is capable of taking the car from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds.

'Lives at risk'

Outside court defence agent Nigel Beaumont was asked if Klos had been freed on "a matter of law".

He replied: "That's absolutely correct," adding "the sheriff made a considered decision which was the correct one".

Mr Beaumont also described the procurator fiscal's attempt to convict Klos under common law as "spectacular" and added: "I think the Crown are way off the mark."

Klos declined to make any comment after the verdict.

Isobel Brydie, spokesperson for the Scottish Campaign Against Irresponsible Drivers (SCID) was disappointed with the case result.

She said: "This is something that has to be taken up by the Crown Office.

"It's not the first mistake that has been made. Mistakes can happen but it's not on when it could put lives at risk."

She said that people who drive at twice the speed limit should consider innocent people who could get hurt.

She added: "People can put their own lives at risk if they want to but the problem is that it is very seldom that person who is killed or injured.

"It is usually an innocent person that is killed or injured."


SEE ALSO:
Businessman denies 156mph speed
21 Apr 05 |  Scotland


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