Duke Special’s hair makes big impression on court judge

Peter Wilson is better known as Duke Special
Peter Wilson is better known as Duke Special

The dreadlocked hair of singer Duke Special impressed a judge as the artist was on Tuesday convicted of driving without insurance.

The songwriter, whose real name is Peter Wilson, appeared before Antrim Magistrates’ Court, charged with motoring offences which included failing to produce driving documents.

The court heard that Belfast-based Wilson, whose hits include Freewheel and No Cover Up, was stopped by police officers while driving a car along the M2 motorway close to Antrim in the early hours of June 6.

Wilson, 44, was unable to produce his driving documents at the time and failed to produce them within seven days at a police station, the court heard.

A prosecutor said Wilson had a previous excess speed charge on his record, and the singer spoke to District Judge Alan White in his own defence.

“I was under the impression that I had insurance. It expired without my knowledge,” he said.

“Basically, I was unaware I was driving without insurance. I got insured as soon as possible afterwards.”

Judge White told him: “It’s your duty to know if you’re insured,” before placing six penalty points on Wilson’s licence.

Seemingly unaware of the defendant’s musical background, Judge White asked him: “Are you working?” to which Wilson said he was “self-employed”.

The judge fined him £175, and as Wilson left the courtroom, Mr White sparked sniggers when he quipped: “He’s definitely the winner of the hairstyle of the day contest.”