Michael Collins - Busted for doing 125mph

Michael Collins made the national news after being filmed riding his bike at speeds of up to 125mph on his way to work. This is his version of events...

I’m 22 years old and I’m a criminal. I did my bike test when I was 17 but my licence started getting fragile, so I went racing. I spent three years winning races at MRO level, set some lap records and broke some bones. I enjoyed it but it got too expensive. I didn’t want to go back to road riding but the deal on the GSX-R was too good to miss. I didn’t want anything bigger than a 600, they are ample and I thought it would keep me out of trouble. The bike wasn’t exactly quiet, it had a full Akropovic system (which didn’t help) nor did the small number plate.

My commute was down lovely open roads that you could fit four lanes down if you wanted to. I left home just after seven in the morning, as normal. There was a CBR600 following me. I wasn’t to know it then, but he was an unmarked police bike. I was brought to their attention a month and a half before, for riding fast on that route. He followed me for about four or five minutes, gaining enough evidence to arrest me.

I pulled into a service station and he waited for me up the road. When I set off he followed me again. He left me a couple of miles from work. I was well aware of him being there, he was riding really close to me, more than any other rider normally would ride. I carried on riding quickly, partly because I didn’t want him that close to me in case he was incapable, and stupidly because I assumed that it was just another one of the bikes I see on my way to work every day.

When I arrived at work there was a police car waiting for me. I was arrested, they seized my leathers, lid and my bike. I didn’t think I was riding beyond my own limit. Watching the video while being interviewed I thought the policeman’s riding was very sketchy. I was kept in a cell overnight because in their eyes I was too much of a danger to the public to be released that day.

I have never been in trouble with the police before and it definitely felt weird trying to get some sleep in a cell. My girlfriend didn’t find out where I was until late at night, her mother logged a missing persons report when I didn’t come home. She called the local hospitals and police stations, she actually called the police station I was being held at and asked if they had heard anything. They said that they hadn’t even though I was being held down stairs.

They held me until I appeared in court, where I pleaded guilty because that was the advice that was given to me by the legal representation that the police provided me with. I got a two year ban, a three month suspended jail sentence and 240 hours community service. I believe the sentence that I got was worse because there was so much evidence. They had me doing double the speed limit in a thirty within the first four minutes of following me and a maximum of 125mph during the chase. When I went to the induction for my community service the kid sat next to me was caught with £1,500 worth of heroin on him, after a caution he was given 80 hours community service and was released. There are certain things you can do to reduce your term of community service, IT courses for example. If you have an education up to GCSE level or have a job you can’t do them. The heroin dealer can do a 12-hour computer course and reduce his sentence by half.

This system has been devised after many years of refining the system to help people, this is supposed to make them better, which is pretty fucked up. I’m pissed off, I can accept the ban for the speeding, it was wrong. The suspended sentence I can cope with as I’ve never done anything wrong before this and don’t plan on doing a n y t h i n g afterwards. But 240 hours of community service when I work six days a week, giving up every Sunday for a year to paint fences with proper criminals isn’t going to do me any good whatsoever.

The police need more education in terms of the theory of dangerous driving, one of the policemen told me that while I was bolt upright, because I was under acceleration that I could fall of at any second. They don’t really understand any other style of riding other than their own. I would love to get them on a track.

I’ve worked my arse off to get to the position I’m in here at work, but I’ll have to take four or five steps back now. I do 16-hour days now that I have to use public transport, which sucks. It would be easier to move closer to my job, but I live ten steps from the beach and it feels like it would be just another thing I have to give up. I don’t feel it’s necessary to ride a bike on the road anymore, a car would do me now. If I had to give a message it would be that you don’t know you’re caught until you’re caught.

Always assume that you are being watched...

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