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Scots rush to say sorry for police behaviour

Generous Scots have been quick to support an English charity cyclist who accidentally strayed on to a motorway and was fined by police.

Jamie Barton, 34, who is riding from land’s End to John O’Groats was pulled over by traffic officers on the A74(M) motorway near Gretna.

But his explanation – that he had his ‘head down’ and was following his sat nav – fell on deaf ears and he was fined £60 with three penalty points on his licence.

The police have now admitted they were wrong and have closed the matter.
 

A spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary said: "In reviewing the case it now appears that incorrect procedures were taken in the issuing of this ticket and as such this has now been cancelled.The matter will not be taken any further by the force."
 

Mr Barton, from Essex, is riding for a hospice for very sick children and was hoping to raise £1,000. However, his total has now reached £2,755 which includes donations from Scots angry that he has been treated so harshly by the police.

On his charity webpage he has received various messages of good luck and pledges of cash. One man, donating £10, said: “Apologies for dumb behaviour of plod. Hopefully when you get to the Highlands you'll be made more welcome! Cheers and good luck!”

Mr Barton had been on the road for four days when he had his brush with the law.

He explained: "I had just crossed the border. I was following a sat nav and had my head down. I didn't realise it was taking me onto the A74(M)."

He said he had been on the motorway for just a few minutes when he pulled over.

"They spent about 30 minutes with me in the car. They seemed intent on giving me the biggest penalty," he said.

He added: "I realise they had to take me off the motorway for my safety and the safety of others and to an extent I agree with the fine but I think getting points on your licence is a bit harsh."

He has now resumed his ride and hopes to reach John O'Groats by the end of the week.