Page last updated at 18:18 GMT, Thursday, 25 March 2010

Celtic star Scott Brown avoids driving charge

Scott Brown
A justice of the peace ruled Brown had no case to answer

A football star has had a speeding charge against him thrown out on a legal technicality.

Celtic and Scotland player Scott Brown had been spotted driving "excessively fast" in his Porsche 911 Carrera Tiptronic on the M876 in January 2009.

Two police officers recorded his speed as being 83mph on the Vascar meter mounted in their unmarked patrol car.

But a justice of the peace at Falkirk ruled Brown, 24, had no case to answer after his lawyer pointed to a loophole.

Defence solicitor Michael Lyon claimed the prosecution failed to prove that the Vascar meter had been properly calibrated or that the officer using it was properly qualified.

The Crown has failed to prove that the Vascar had been checked before it was used, and that the test mile was indeed a mile
Raymond Montgomery
Justice of the Peace

Mr Lyon told Falkirk Justice of the Peace Court: "It is my submission that the Crown has failed to lead any evidence that the Vascar had been checked before the incident, they failed to prove the police officer who used the Vascar was qualified to do so, and they failed to prove the measured mile they used to test the Vascar was indeed a mile."

Fiscal depute Susan Clark said the officers were qualified, and their word that the mile was a measured mile should have been good enough.

She said: "These are two reliable witnesses who have given enough evidence to prove that Mr Brown was guilty of this charge."

Justice of the Peace Raymond Montgomery said that it had been a "difficult afternoon."

He said: "This is quite a high profile case, ladies and gentlemen. It has been a difficult afternoon but I am going to uphold the defence case of no case to answer.

"The Crown has failed to prove that the Vascar had been checked before it was used, and that the test mile was indeed a mile."

Public benches

Brown pleaded not guilty to the speeding charge, but did not give evidence.

The offence was alleged to have happened as Brown drove on the motorway from the direction of the Kincardine Bridge towards Denny in Stirlingshire.

He had been allowed to avoid sitting with other alleged offenders on the public benches by remaining in a separate room, which was guarded by police officers, until his case was called.

The midfielder was also allowed to exit by a back door at lunchtime.



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