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Prison and road ban for ‘atrocious’ driving

A THIRTY year old man who repeatedly tailgated and then reversed into the car of his ex-girlfriend with the aim of “intimidating and frightening” her has been jailed for 10 months and banned from the road for almost four years.

Asif Muhammad, of Thistle Court, Virkie, pleaded guilty to driving his vehicle dangerously on 21 May last year on the A970 Grutness to Hillswick road. He repeatedly tailgated and overtook the other vehicle, swerving from side to side, swerving in front of it and stopping his vehicle, causing the other driver to take evasive action.

He also admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by repeatedly phoning his former partner, shouting, swearing and issuing threats.

Muhammad then assaulted his ex by threatening to crash into the car she was a passenger in before reversing his car into it, and assaulting a man who was also travelling in the vehicle to his injury.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the incident started at 9.30pm when the complainant, who had been in a cohabiting relationship with Muhammad, told him she wanted to leave.

He told her to take her things and get out, and later that night another man arrived to collect her.

They drove past her companion’s house, realised Muhammad was sitting in his car outside the man’s address and elected to travel past the junction. 

At that stage he began following them so closely that his headlights were no longer visible in the rearview mirror. The fiscal said that behaviour continued for around 5-10 minutes.

Muhammad subsequently phoned his ex and told them he was going to crash into them. Having parked across two lanes, he then reversed at speed into their car “with such force that both airbags inflated”, causing substantial damage to the vehicle and leaving the man with whiplash-type injuries.

When police arrived Muhammad “lied through his teeth” and claimed it was they who had been following him.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said it was “clearly atrocious driving” and his client “struggles to believe he was capable of all this”.

The breakup and difficulties at his work led him to become “hysterical and anxious”, though since his release on bail he has managed to calm down. 

Sheriff Philip Mann described it as an “appalling and atrocious piece of offending” with the purpose of “intimidating and frightening your ex partner and her companion”, while also posing a risk of injury or harm to other road users.

Muhammad had to understand that “you’re the person who threw the pedal into the pool”. The sheriff sentenced him to 10 months in jail and disqualified him from driving for 46 months.

MEANWHILE, a teenager who drove unsupervised and without insurance has been disqualified for six months.

Eighteen year old Jessica Scott, of Grindadale, Trondra, admitted driving at Scalloway’s New Road on 12 October without insurance and while unsupervised on a provisional driving licence.

She admitted the same offence on the A970 at Scalloway’s Mill Brae on 21 November. Scott was fined a total of £400 and handed six penalty points in addition to the driving ban.

DRIVING a vehicle without insurance while unaccompanied and not displaying ‘L’ plates resulted in six penalty points and £400-worth of fines for a young man from Yell.

Craig Irvine, 18, of Easterlea, admitted the two offences, which took place at Lerwick’s South Road on 17 December last year.

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021