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Woman evades driving ban

A WOMAN from Scalloway has escaped a driving ban after convincing the court that she needed her licence for transporting her child to hospital and medical appointments.

Joanne Mackay, of Blydoit, East Voe, had previously admitted driving with no insurance on the B9074 at East Voe on 2 February.

The 37 year old already had eight penalty points on her licence, meaning she would be disqualified if she reached 12 under the totting-up procedure.

Mackay’s defence called for a special hearing to consider evidence of exceptional hardship in a bid to avoid disqualification and Lerwick Sheriff Court heard on Thursday from the woman herself.

She explained that she regularly drives her son, who has the blood condition haemophilia, to hospital for appointments, as well as to Sumburgh Airport for flights to the Scottish mainland for medical trips.

Mackay, whose partner was unable to drive due to disqualification, said the bus timetable did not fit in with her son’s appointments and added that no family members were able to help her out due to work commitments.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie questioned if she had looked into public transport thoroughly enough, and pondered if her son’s early morning blood tests could be carried out closer to home in Scalloway.

Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood was persuaded by defence agent Tommy Allan’s case, however, saying that the child’s welfare was key due to the serious nature of his condition.

He fined Mackay £400 and gave her six penalty points, but did not disqualify her.

However, the sheriff warned the woman that the exceptional hardship hearing only works once and that one more motoring offence would result in a driving ban.

A DUNDEE man was disqualified from driving when he appeared from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court via video link on Thursday.

Steven Saunders, of Balmoral Terrace, admitted driving with no insurance at the NorthLink ferry terminal in Lerwick on 29 July last year.

The 53 year old, who had previous analogous convictions, claimed that the lack of cover was due to a misunderstanding.

Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood banned Saunders, who appeared from custody after missing a court appearance, from the road for six months.

A MAN from Dunrossness, meanwhile, was fined £300 for driving without insurance.

Richard Ball, of Dalsetter Wynd, admitted driving with no cover on the A970 at Girlsta on 15 August last year.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard on Thursday that the vehicle involved was a car which the 32 year old and his father was going to do up.

However, there was a mix-up with the insurance and Ball’s dad was the person named on the policy.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the offence was discovered by police who were on a routine patrol.

Ball was also ordered to pay back £607.45 in unpaid road tax to the authorities for using a car despite stating it would be kept off the road.