Christmas car chase driver jailed

A SHETLAND man with drug problems who nearly ran down a policeman after a

Christmas Day car chase on icy roads was sent to prison on Thursday.

Steven Alan Nicolson, of 12 Park Lane, Lerwick, had admitted reckless and dangerous driving at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

The court heard that the 22 year old had been driving a friend home in the early hours of Christmas morning, even though his provisional licence had run out and his passenger could not drive.


Police gave chase when they saw him driving too fast along Lerwick’s King Harald Street on slippery roads after a heavy snowfall, following him at speeds of up to 45mph through the town before he skidded into a pile of snow on Hayfield Lane.

The police officers jumped out of their vehicle to arrest Nicholson, and as he revved his engine to escape his car lurched forward while one of the officers was in front of the vehicle and he had to leap out of the way.


The other officer opened the driver’s door and turned off the ignition. Nicholson was arrested and spent the next two weeks in the cells before being released on bail.

On Thursday, defence agent Tommy Allan said that Nicholson had been trying to get away from the police, “but he is quite clear he would not deliberately run over a police officer”.

Mr Allan said that prior to this incident Nicholson had successfully completed a drug treatment and testing order (DTTO), but had felt so low in Aberdeen’s Craiginches prison that he had started taking heroin again.


Sheriff Graeme Napier told Nicolson it was his responsibility to stay away from drugs and sent him back to prison for 226 days, taking into account the time he had already spent in custody. He also banned him from driving for 10 years, after hearing he received a 12 month disqualification in December 2008.

“This was grossly reckless behaviour. You don’t have a licence and you should not have a car or be out in a car. This was when you were apparently still under control having completed a DTTO, and you made this reckless stupid decision,” the sheriff said.

“I don’t know whether the message will ever get through to you, but I think I have to lay down a marker that this type of behaviour is simply unacceptable and the only way to deal with you is by custodial sentence.”

The sheriff admonished Nicholson for two other charges of possessing small quantities of diazepam, at Clothister, Sullom, on 3 October last year, and heroin at Lerwick police station, on 3 February.