Court / Drink driving in Unst leads to lengthy ban

A MAN from Unst whose “catastrophic error of judgement” led him to driving after drinking alcohol has been disqualified for three years.

Gary Pilkington, of Baltasound, admitted at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday to driving in the north of the island on 8 February with 82 milligrammes of alcohol in 100ml blood. The legal limit is 50 milligrammes.


Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the incident happened around 6.30pm after the 38-year-old had driven off the road.

He went to a nearby house for assistance and was ultimately taken to hospital by ambulance due to a minor injury he had received.

Mackenzie said police officers attended the hospital and took a blood sample at 11.40pm.

Defence agent Liam McAllister said his client had attended a social event at a local pub involving a visit from a jarl squad.

He then fell into the company of someone and ended up drinking at their house, but he decided to drive away afterwards.


McAllister described this as a “catastrophic error of judgement” and said the court case had weighed heavily on the 38-year-old.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said as the result of a similar conviction in 2009, the minimum disqualification would be three years.

Pilkington was given the chance to reduce the ban by one quarter through taking part in a drink driver rehabilitation course.

Sheriff Cruickshank also fined Pilkington £540.

A MAN from Lerwick, meanwhile, had his sentence deferred after admitting behaving in a threatening or abusive manner earlier this year.

Kyle Swannie, of Bakland, admitted carrying out the offence at an address in Lerwick on 22 March.

The 23-year-old pleaded guilty to shouting, swearing and making threats.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said Swannie acted in this manner to two council workmen, threatening to kill one of them.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said it was his client’s belief at the time that the person he shouted at was responsible for smashing windows at his house.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank deferred sentence for three months for Swannie to be of good behaviour.

The sheriff warned Swannie that “all sentencing options remain open” if he was not of good behaviour and did not comply with an existing community payback order.