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Teenager drove at ‘horrendously fast speed’

A TEENAGER who drove at grossly excessive speeds has avoided having his licence revoked after being commended for attempting to improve his driving.

Michael Pottinger, of Soundcill, Bridge End, admitted at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Tuesday to driving carelessly on the A970 between Cunningsburgh and Gulberwick on 5 September last year.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the incident, which took place at around half past midnight, was a young man taking the opportunity to put the foot down on a quiet road at night.

However, the 19 year old didn’t realise that police officers, who were following in a marked car, had noticed his “horrendously fast speed”.

Mackenzie praised Pottinger’s “significant attempts” to rectify the situation, which included undertaking the Pass Plus driving course.

Defence agent Tommy Allan showed Sheriff Philip Mann letters from Pottinger’s father – who is also his employer – and Train Shetland.

Pottinger, who is undertaking a marine engineering apprenticeship, wouldn’t have had any guarantee of keeping his job if he lost his licence, the solicitor said.

Allan added that his client had co-operated fully with police after he was stopped.

The incident happened within two years of Pottinger passing his driving test and this meant that if he was given six penalty points then he would have his licence revoked as it would pass the new drivers’ threshold.

Sheriff Mann said the offence would “amply merit a period of disqualification”, but he acknowledged Pottinger’s attempts to improve his driving.

Taking that into account, along with the potential effects on his employment, the sheriff gave Pottinger five penalty points and a £750 fine.