A NORTH Berwick businessman has been banned from the road after he was clocked riding his motorbike at an “astonishing” 120mph.

Richard Montgomery, 58, was racing away from a BMW along the busy A1 while on board his Suzuki bike when he was caught travelling 50mph above the legal limit of 70mph last year.

Traffic police stationed on an overhead bridge spotted Montgomery speeding near to the Gladsmuir Junction of the main road and gave chase.

The officers eventually managed to catch up with the Scout leader and he was arrested and charged with dangerous driving.

Montgomery, of High Street, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month, where he admitted driving at a “grossly excessive speed” on September 5 last year.

He was back in the dock for sentencing on Monday, where Sheriff Matthew Auchincloss described the speed he reached as “astonishing”.

Solicitor Kevin Connor told the court: “First of all, there is excuse for what he did. His position is that he was being tailgated by a BMW and he took the silly decision to accelerate away from it.

“What he did was way overboard and there was no need to accelerate to the speed he did, but he did and he accepts his guilt.

“He understands what he did was risky and dangerous. He did slow down of his own accord very soon afterwards.”

The lawyer added that Montgomery’s illegal behaviour on the road was “very brief”, as he was clocked doing 120mph at 1.02pm and then pulled over and charged by the police at 1.06pm.

Mr Connor said that Montgomery was a local Scout leader and that he owned a golf chauffeur business, Montgomery Golf Ltd, where he drove mainly American tourists to play at prestigious golf courses throughout Scotland.

The court also heard that Montgomery had previous driving convictions on his record and that he currently had live penalty points on his licence.

Sheriff Auchincloss said: “The speed you were doing was astonishing.

“The level of risk to you and to other road users was very high indeed.”

The sheriff banned Montgomery from driving for 32 months and ordered him to carry out 171 hours of unpaid work in the community as an alternative to a custodial sentence.

The businessman was also told he must complete the extended driving test before he is allowed back on the road.

Montgomery pleaded guilty to driving a motorcycle dangerously and at grossly excessive speeds at the A1 near Gladsmuir on September 5 last year.