Comedian Jim Davidson narrowly avoided a driving ban after he was caught speeding and joked: ”Next time I’ll pin it on a dead bloke”.
Former Generation Game presenter Davidson, 56, was clocked as he drove to a gig at 96mph in a 70mph zone on the A380 in Devon.
Police pursued him over the offence for seven months but he failed to respond until officers finally caught up with him five minutes before a show, a court was told.
He appeared at Newton Abbot Magistrates Court yesterday after he was ordered to attend when he failed to show up at a previous hearing.
Davidson represented himself and told the court he was approached by a police officer in his dressing room before a show in Reading.
He said: ”A policeman came to my dressing room two weeks ago just as I was about to go on stage. It made the first five minutes of my act very interesting.
”He came into my dressing room and approached me with a huge, thick dossier all about the case.
”The best thing you can do to avoid the fine is look through the obituary column and pin it on a dead man. Give his widow a monkey and say he did it.”
Davidson was clocked in his Range Rover by a mobile police patrol on a road at Ideford Dip, on August 7, 2009, as he drove to a show in Torquay.
He pleaded guilty to one charge of speeding but told magistrates he couldn’t remember when he was clocked – and said he didn’t think he was behind the wheel.
Magistrates gave him six penalty points, fined him #130 and ordered him to pay a #15 victim surcharge and #60 costs – a total of #205.
He told the court: ”I remember nothing of that particular day. I don’t think it was me that was driving. There have been no facts put before me.
”I understand the police wrote to me in Dubai but I never received any of those letters. I was not informed about this. Anyone would be able to contact me as I’m an entertainer and I have an agent
“I’m not saying it definitely wasn’t me, but I can’t say hand on heart that it was me. I’m in a quandary really.
”A driving ban would cause me discomfort but I am not on minimum wage and I hopefully I would still be able to get from A to B.”
A spokeswoman for Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera Partnership said Davidson had ”got off lightly” with a fine as police had spent so long tracking him.
She said: ”The investigation of the offence involved multiple contacts with individuals apparently associated with Mr Davidson, but no response was received despite trying several addresses.
”A court summons was eventually served on Mr Davidson whilst he attended one of his shows resulting in the court hearing.
”We take the prosecution of high speed offences such as this one very seriously and have had to go to some length to ensure that the case was pursued to an appropriate conclusion in court.
”Many attempts were made to try and contact him. We had to deal with him like we would anybody else. In the end I do believe he got off a bit lightly.”
Davidson failed to show at an earlier hearing and had been warned he faced an additional charge of failing to give information relating to the identification of a driver.
He told the court that he had to travel from Dubai to appear in court and each time he made the trip it cost him #5,000.
Speaking outside the court, Davidson said: ”If I was to say it wasn’t me it would just waste more police time. I think it’s called falling on the sword.
”But I think common sense has prevailed here and the magistrates were very nice. I’m relieved that I have a British licence as I didn’t know I had one.
”I just wanted this to be over as it costs me #5,000 to get over here from Dubai for each court appearance.”
Sentencing magistrate Sue Shepherd said: ”In taking into account the circumstances, that it was a straightforward speeding offence, 26 mph over the limit, the appropriate way to deal with this is with a financial penalty.”