Prince Harry’s best friend Guy Pelly has been banned from driving – for racing along an A-road at a blistering 129mph.
Traffic police stopped his £100,00 Audi R8 sports car as he tore along the A303 in Wiltshire at lunchtime.
Pelly, 30, who is also a close pal of Prince William, was summonsed to appear before magistrates in Salisbury but failed to appear, claiming he was ill.
Pc Adrian Ridley told the court he spotted the car approaching from about 1km away and saw it travelling ‘significantly faster’ than the rest of the traffic.
Pelly, a wealthy nightclub entrepreneur, did not deny he was speeding on the 70mph dual carriageway – but disputed he was going as fast as the officer said.
Pc Ridley said he had more than 20 years’ experience and was satisfied there was nothing wrong with the equipment or the reading it gave.
He said: “It’s not an option at all that there was something wrong with the reading.
“I’m more than happy the speed I got on the device was the correct speed.”
Pelly, of Kensington, London, was fined £750, ordered to pay £265 costs, and disqualified from driving for 56 days.
He could have been fined up to £2,500 and banned for 120 days.
The sentence was criticised by road safety groups and some online commentators.
Nick Batty of the charity Brake said: “Driving at a speed of 129mph is incredibly dangerous, risky and selfish behaviour which shows no concern for the law or for the safety of other road users.
“Drivers who flout the law in this way need to be punished appropriately in order to provide an active deterrent to other drivers from taking similar risks.”
One commentator wrote online: “Hope the Salisbury Magistrates are proud…only 8 weeks ban for doing 129 MPH and in the middle of the day.
“The fine is a joke as well he would have that in loose change in his pocket.”
Another added: “Seems to have got of a bit lightly.He will be back on the road in 8 weeks.”
It was the second time he had missed a hearing in the case which dates back to March.
A previous hearing was adjourned when Pelly said he was unwell.
Last month it was reported that Pelly was facing a £500,000 demand from creditors after the failure of his nightclub in Chelsea’s Kings Road where Prince Harry celebrated his 27th birthday.