Two-year driving ban after ‘Ferguson Defence fails

Dundee Sheriff Court

Dundee Sheriff Court

An ex-soldier who deployed the “Sir Alex Ferguson defence” to a driving charge has been handed a two-year road ban.

Alexander Gibson claimed he had only hit 84mph in a 40mph residential zone because he needed to rush home to empty his artificial bladder.

The case recalls the legendary football manager’s 1999 motoring case - in which he was cleared of illegally driving on a motorway hard shoulder because he had been struck by severe diarrhoea.

Gibson 42, of Victoria Road, Broughty Ferry was told his driving was “absolutely crazy” and he was “lucky no-one was killed”.

Fiscal depute Stewart Duncan told Dundee Sheriff Court that the ex-soldier lost the use of his bladder when it was punctured by a piece of shrapnel during his army service.

He said Gibson was seen driving at excessive speed in his Mitsubishi Lancer on Dundee Road West, Broughty Ferry.

Mr Duncan added: “Police were carrying out checks in the area when they saw the accused’s vehicle travelling at high speed.

“He was driving at more than twice the speed limit and was seen to be overtaking a line of slower-moving vehicles.”

Once Gibson had passed the line he pulled back in.

Gibson,, pleaded guilty on summary complaint to a charge of dangerous driving committed on August 24 2013.

Defence solicitor Alexandra Short said Gibson has an artifical bladder and other medical problems stemming from his time in the army.

She said: “He now has a fitted catheter but at the time of this offence was using disposable ones.

“The day before the offence he had been to the pharmacy to pick up some catheters but there weren’t any, so he had to go back the following day to get some.

“He was unable to empty his artificial bladder and was in a rush to do so.

“That’s what led him to drive in this manner.”

Sheriff Simon Collins QC fined Gibson £1000 and banned him from driving for two years.

He said: “His medical condition is another matter - this kind of driving is absolutely crazy.

“He’s lucky no-one was killed.

“He shouldn’t have been driving like that, no matter the reason.”

In October 1999 Sir Alex Ferguson was found not guilty of illegally driving on a motorway hard shoulder after he told a court he was rushing to get to a lavatory.

Magistrates agreed with the legendary ex- Manchester United manager’s defence that it was an “emergency”.

Bury Magistrates Court had been told that Sir Alex had been suffering from severe diarrhoea when the incident took place on 26 February on the M602, in Eccles, Greater Manchester.