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Careless driver fined £1,200

A MAN from Burra who crashed his car into a ditch before taking the police on a one-mile pursuit has been fined over £1,000.

Fifty nine year old James Fullerton of Altaness, Hamnavoe, previously admitted careless driving when he encountered a queue of traffic in Cunningsburgh on 23 August.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie told Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday that the seaman lost focus when driving past the village hall, which was hosting a busy event.

He hit a traffic cone – which damaged another car – before entering a ditch. A friend later pulled him out by using a tractor.

However, police who happened to be on patrol in the area were alerted to the incident and pursued Fullerton – who was driving the damaged car back to his partner’s nearby house – with sirens and lights for a mile before he fully co-operated with officers.

Fullerton was disqualified from driving at the time and had taken his partner’s car without consent and while uninsured.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said “everyone would be forgiven for thinking this was a drunk driver”.

He said this was “not the case” before adding that his client was very ill.

Taking into consideration Fullerton’s health, sheriff David Hall decided against giving the man unpaid work and instead dished out a total of £1,200 in fines.

He also disqualified Fullerton, who was already banned from the road until November 2016, for three years.

Meanwhile, a man from Unst who was so “intoxicated” through drugs that he couldn’t work out how to open his car door has been disqualified from driving for three years.

Martyn McConnell, of Daisy Park, Baltasound, previously admitted driving while unfit through drink or drugs at Lerwick’s Esplanade on 7 March.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard in September that the 34 year old had staggered into his car outside the town’s Tesco supermarket.

They alerted the police, who later found McConnell to be heavily under the influence.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie told court on Wednesday that the man was “so intoxicated he had difficulty in opening the car door”, with McConnell’s seatbelt the only thing stopping him from falling out the vehicle.

Police later discovered tramadol, diazepam and the psychoactive substance MDA in his system.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said it would be a “significant blow” to his client if he were to lose his licence due to his island location.

However, Sheriff David Hall told McConnell that it was a “very serious offence” and banned him from the road for three years. The man was also ordered to remain in his home between 8pm and 6am for four months.