Highlands & Islands

Sir Ranulph Fiennes pleads guilty to speeding charge

Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Image caption Sir Ranulph Fiennes is headed for Antarctica

Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has pleaded guilty by letter to speeding on the A9 in the Highlands last year.

It had been alleged the 68-year-old, from Exford, Somerset, drove at 98mph in a 70mph zone at Daviot, south of Inverness, on 20 June.

Sir Ranulph previously denied the charge and had been asked to appear at Inverness Justice of Peace Court.

The explorer is headed for Antarctica to attempt an expedition called The Coldest Journey.

Sir Ranulph changed his plea to the driving charge in a letter from his solicitor.

Fiscal depute Alison Wylie told Justice of the Peace Pam Marrs that the lawyers had sought to protect Sir Ranulph's driving licence.

She said: "I think the best course of action would be to defer sentence to allow a representative to be here in an attempt to mitigate any sentence the court may feel inclined to impose.

"He is not liable to a ban under the totting up procedure but his lawyers are obviously concerned that the speed may result in a ban."

Sentence was deferred until 6 February.

Sir Ranulph was the first man to reach both North and South Poles by land and was also the oldest Briton to climb Everest, in 2009, at the age of 65.

In 2003 he ran seven marathons on seven continents in seven days, and in 2007 he climbed the treacherous north face of the Eiger in Switzerland.

The Coldest Journey is an attempt to cross the Antarctic in temperatures low as -70C.

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