Rangers captain handed ASBO over alleged driving offence

The 31-year-old was alleged to be driving at 'excessive speeds' while 'in tandem with another vehicle'.

Rangers captain James Tavernier handed ASBO over alleged driving offence Website

Rangers captain James Tavernier received an ASBO from police for an alleged driving offence, a trial heard.

The 31-year-old appeared in the dock at Glasgow Sheriff Court where he denies driving dangerously on April 31, 2021.

Prosecutors state he travelled at excessive speeds on Crow Road and Anniesland Road in the city’s west end as well as Canniesburn Toll in Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire.

The charge claims the defender, of Strathblane, also broke sharply in order to comply with a red traffic light and repeatedly accelerated from the light at speed.

It is further alleged that Tavernier overtook and undertook motor vehicles travelling on the roadway there when it was not safe to do so.

The charge lastly says this was done whilst Tavernier was driving “in tandem” with another motor vehicle.

The court heard from constable Ross Birrell who stated in his evidence that he was in a police car on Crow Road after 11pm.

Prosecutor Gail Campbell asked if anything came to his attention.

He said: “There were two vehicles that appeared to be travelling faster than the other cars coming towards us.”

The officer added that he could hear engines “revving” as they came closer from around a corner.

PC Birrell said that the Porsche and Mercedes cars came to an “abrupt stop” at the traffic lights on the other side of the road to him.

Ms Campbell asked the officer what he saw next.

He replied: “When the lights changed to green my intention was to stop both vehicles and speak with regards to what I witnessed earlier.

“In order for us to do a safe turn I would have to go past the two cars.

“I could see from my mirrors that the two cars accelerated harshly.”

The officer added that the vehicles were a considerable distance away and did not see them until the next set of red lights.

He said: “As we were a short distance behind the vehicles, the lights went to green and the two vehicles accelerated harshly again.”

The officer claimed that he initially had his blue lights and sirens on but turned them off at the traffic lights.

It was stated that the vehicles drove off on a straight stretch of road and that the officer was going at 80mph to try and catch up with them.

He added that he did not go faster than 80mph due to safety concerns for pedestrians and drivers.

Ms Campbell asked if there was anything about their manner of driving which gave him concern.

He said: “They were in convoy or tandem – they were side by side for a period, driving at speed, going in and out of lanes overtaking other vehicles.”

The officer stated he put the lights and sirens on which would have been “clearly audible to any driver.”

PC Birrell said both vehicles stopped near a roundabout for Canniesburn Toll in Bearsden.

The officer claimed that he spoke to Tavernier who remained in his Porsche.

PC Birrell said: “I said he would receive a fixed penalty and an ASBO for the vehicle.”

The officer claimed he explained that he could contest the penalty and how to do so.

He added that he read Tavernier a warning for the road traffic act.

John Scullion KC, defending, asked the officer if he recognised Tavernier on the road which he denied.

The advocate put it to the officer that he “could not recall” which lane Tavernier was in which he replied that it was because there were two cars.

Mr Scullion also claimed that Tavernier did not know why he was being stopped and also asked if he was videoed.

The officer earlier claimed that he did not record the incident on video.

Mr Scullion added: “He said it was your word against his, is that not so?”

PC Birrell replied: “Yes.”

Mr Scullion later said: “You are telling me a man that was driving home at night with no penalty points on his licence and you give an ASBO, is that not unusual?”

PC Birrell replied: “No.”

The other driver was identified in court as “Jack Simpson” who was also said to have been offered a £100 fine and three penalty points.

It was stated that he also did not pay the fine.

It was claimed that Simpson faced proceedings for “careless driving.”

Mr Scullion asked about the warning the officer claimed to have issued to Tavernier.

The officer accepted that in a statement to the procurator fiscal and a later memo that he changed whether he told Tavernier that he could be later charged with dangerous driving at court.

Mr Scullion said: “Why is that there?”

PC Birrell replied: “I don’t know why.”

Mr Scullion said: “You wrote it.”

The trial continues before Sheriff Graham Buchanan.

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