Caley Thistle striker Nathan Austin avoids driving ban after speeding offence

© SuppliedAustin’s solicitor said his client was hurrying home​ to a sick child.
Austin’s solicitor said his client was hurrying home​ to a sick child.

An Inverness Caledonian Thistle player narrowly avoided a driving ban yesterday over a speeding offence.

Striker Nathan Austin, 24, was returning from visiting family in Fife when he was registered by a police speed trap on the A9 near Kincraig on September 2.

The former East Fife and Falkirk player was originally charged with doing 101mph in a 70mph stretch of dual carriageway.

But at Inverness Justice of the Peace Court yesterday, Austin’s lawyer. John MacColl confirmed a guilty plea to speeding at 95mph.

It was accepted by fiscal depute Martina Eastwood.

Austin, who lives in Inverness, was not present in court.

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Mrs Eastwood said that traffic on the road was moderate and the weather dry when the offence took place at 6.50pm in the evening.

Mr MacColl said his client lives with his partner and young child in the city.

He added that he had been driving for three and a half years with no points on his licence or previous convictions.

“He got a phone call from his partner which he took on his hands free. He was told that his five-month-old daughter had colic, was crying and in distress.

“His partner was also distressed so he decided to get home as quickly as possible.

“He regularly drives to Fife but his partner doesn’t drive so it would be difficult for them with a young child if he were to be disqualified from driving.” Mr MacColl went on.

The lawyer asked magistrate Ian Rhind to impose penalty points instead, adding: “there has been no effort on his part to avoid responsibility.”

Mr Rhind imposed a £340 fine and six penalty points as an alternative to a three-month driving ban in recognition of the player’s early plea.

Austin was released from his contract with Falkirk in December 2017 and went on to sign for Caley Thistle. He made his debut in a 1–1 draw against Livingston in January and scored his first hat-trick for the club in April, in 5–1 win against Dumbarton.