A COUNTY motorcyclist has avoided a road ban after crashing into a car on a main road near to Seton Castle.

Douglas Murray was riding his motorbike with a passenger on the back when he overtook a vehicle on the A198 near to the 18th-century country house, south east of Port Seton.

Murray, 56, crossed into the opposing carriageway before losing control of his motorbike and colliding with the vehicle he was overtaking.

The two-vehicle crash resulted in his passenger being thrown to the ground during the incident, which took place in June last year.

Murray had initially pleaded guilty by letter to the offence of driving without due care and attention and causing his passenger to suffer severe injury, and was due to be sentenced on Monday.

But when his case called at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Murray said that he had now employed solicitor Mary Moultrie to represent him and withdrew the guilty plea, instead lodging a plea of guilty to an amended charge.

The amended complaint deleted the words ‘causing severe injury to the pillion passenger’ and the plea was then accepted by the Crown.

Sheriff John Cook fined Murray, of Winton Park, Cockenzie, £640 and placed nine penalty points on his driving licence.

Murray pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention by failing to keep a proper lookout, entering the opposite carriageway and colliding with a vehicle, causing his pillion passenger to fall to the ground, at the A198 near to Seton House on June 3 last year.