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Drink driver jailed and banned for life

A SHETLAND man has been jailed and banned from driving for life after he returned to the wheel of his car following his release from custody on a drink driving charge earlier this month.

Derek Barclay Cowie Johnson, aged 57, of 23 Meadowfield Crescent, Scalloway, had initially been stopped as he drove while more than twice the legal alcohol limit on the village’s Meadowfield Road on 4 April.

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He was arrested at home after local people had alerted the police to his driving, but refused to give a breath test until he was at the police station in Lerwick.

He was released the following day, only to return home and repeat the offence, this time being found twice the legal limit while driving along Lovers Loan and Meadowfield Crescent on 6 April.

On Wednesday he pled guilty to both drink driving charges and failing to give a breath sample at his home.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said that Johnson had only bought the car for £2,000 two days before his initial arrest. He said: “This is a man with a significant drink problem who believes it to be entirely appropriate for him to drive the short distance to the shops in Scalloway to pick up his carry out.”

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He said that on the second occasion Johnson had mounted the pavement and forced another car to do the same to avoid him.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said that Johnson had just suffered two bereavements and had spent two days in hospital, which had caused problems with his accommodation. “He accepts that when this happened he had gone off the rails,” he said.

Mr Allan added that Johnson, who suffers from mental health problems, had complained about the way his medical condition had been treated while he was in custody over the past two weeks.

Sheriff Graeme Napier jailed him for six months and banned him from driving for life, after hearing that he had been convicted of three previous driving offences, one of which had led to someone’s death.. He also ordered the car to be forfeited and sold by public auction.

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