Dundee United defender Kovacevic sentenced for speeding
- 17 March 2011
- From the section Tayside and Central Scotland
A footballer caught speeding at almost 100mph through a city centre has been ordered to carry out community service.
Dundee United defender Mihael Kovacevic was caught driving at 95mph in a 40mph zone on Dundee's East Dock Street.
He claimed he had been confused over the speed limit - mistaking a 70mph sign on an adjacent railway line with the signs beside the road.
But Kovacevic admitted driving dangerously and at grossly excessive speeds in October 2010.
Fiscal depute David Cobb told Dundee Sheriff Court that at 1745 BST on 23 October police had been carrying out speed checks with a hand-held laser gun on East Dock Street.
They could hear a car approaching because of the speed it was travelling at - then saw it in the offside lane travelling west.
On pointing the device at the Audi A8 4-2 Quattro it was found to be driving at a top speed of 95mph in a 40mph zone.
Swiss-born Kovacevic, 22, was pursued and came to a halt at traffic lights beside Gallagher Retail Park.
The prosecutor said: "Given the speed he was travelling and the area the officers pursued the accused's vehicle.
"When he was stopped and told why the police wanted to speak to him he immediately said 'I was just testing my car'.
"When he was shown the reading on the gun he said 'I didn't look at my speed'."
Kovacevic had originally been accused of driving at 104mph on the road. He pleaded guilty to driving at 95mph.
Solicitor Graham Walker, defending, told the court that it was a "misconception" that all professional footballers earn huge salaries - and that his client's income was relatively modest.
Mr Walker produced a photograph in court showing the road in similar conditions to the night in question and pointed out the potential confusion of a 70mph sign on the adjacent railway line.
He said: "This does not prove an excuse but he was confused as to the speed limit on that particular road.
"He has lived in Dundee but was not familiar with that road."
Sheriff George Way told the player that he was looked up to by young people who admire the "fast cars and Wags" lifestyle of footballers.
He said: "You have a certain celebrity. You are looked up to as a model of fitness in the great sport of football.
"You may not be Wayne Rooney quite yet but who knows where you may go."
The sheriff said performing unpaid work for the community would be good for someone who had "role model status".
He orded him to carry out 100 community service, fined him £700 and banned him from driving for 14 months.