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Virgins and vampires - Sir Richard Branson joins Robert Pattinson in falling foul of Aussie helmet law

South Australia police caution business tycoon after he's spotted riding without cycle helmet ...

Business tycoon Sir Richard Branson has become the latest high-profile visitor from overseas to fall foul of Australia’s compulsory cycle helmet laws.

The 63-year-old, who is in Australia to help promote a new regional airline operated by his Virgin Group as well as undertake speaking and charity engagements, was cautioned by police officers in the South Australian capital, Adelaide.

"He stopped immediately and was spoken to by two police officers at the time," said a police spokesman, quoted on

"He was given a caution and then put on a helmet. It was pretty straightforward."

Earlier this year, Twilight star Robert Pattinson also received a caution in South Australia after police were alerted to a picture snapped by a fan of him riding a bike without a helmet.

According to police, foreigners typically receive a caution rather than a fine due to their presumed unfamiliarity with the country’s compulsory helmet laws, introduced more than two decades ago, and which remain a subject of fierce academic debate within the country.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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