Ex-Celtic star fined after driving almost double speed limit on M80

Nir Bitton told officers there was 'no chance' he was travelling at 95mph when pulled over in April 2019.

Nir Bitton fined after ex-Celtic star caught travelling at almost double speed limit in Glasgow SNS Group

Former Celtic star Nir Bitton was caught driving at almost double the speed limit.

The 31-year-old committed the crime on Glasgow’s M80 near junction two on April 7, 2019.

The Maccabi Tel-Aviv midfielder, formerly of the city’s Kelvinbridge, was clocked going at 95mph in a 50mph zone in his Audi sports car. 

He later told police: “As far as I know, I wasn’t driving at that speed, no chance, but if you say so, I believe you.”

Bitton – a first offender – pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to careless driving.

He initially faced a charge of dangerous driving. A not guilty plea to having no insurance was accepted by the Crown.

The court heard that police officers had eyes on Bitton’s black Audi Q7 on the M80 at 9am on the day of the incident.

Prosecutor Ryan Watson said: “He was travelling well in excess of the 50 speed restriction.”

Police moved their vehicle into a position to follow Bitton.

Mr Watson added: “Over four tenths of a mile, Bitton was seen to travel at no less than 95 mph.”

Blue lights were activated and Bitton was pulled over.

It is then he made the comments to the officers. 

Dale Hughes, defending, told the court Bitton travelled from Israel to Glasgow exclusively for the court case.

The advocate said: “He has expressed his regret and embarrassment to be here today.

“He is a law abiding and respectful man.

“Mr Bitton concentrates on his family life back home in Tel-Aviv and wishes to put this matter behind him. 

“While he is playing with a top team, he is not enjoying the same financial rewards that he did with Celtic but he can pay a substantial fine.”

Sheriff Michael Hanlon fined Bitton £4,500 and put nine penalty points on his driving licence. 

He said: “The fact you have pled guilty today, I will step back from disqualifying you.”

Bitton agreed to pay the full fine within one month.

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