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Court / Man’s ‘horrendous example of dangerous driving’ results in prison sentence

A MAN from Shetland has been jailed for 14 months and disqualified from driving for just over two and half years after pleading guilty to what sheriff Ian Cruickshank branded as a “horrendous example of dangerous driving” which demonstrated a “high degree of culpability”.

Appearing for sentencing via video link from Grampian Prison, Scott Anderson also admitted charges of driving over the alcohol limit whilst having no insurance or an appropriate licence. The offences were committed while on bail.

The 31-year-old was arrested on 17 July after he crashed his car into a garden wall at Grantfield, in Lerwick, following a police chase through the town.

In court on Wednesday it emerged that the car Anderson was driving had failed an MOT test two years earlier and was unsafe to drive due to several dangerous defects.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie told the hearing Anderson had bought the vehicle earlier in July for £50 and was left in no doubt by the seller that the vehicle was not roadworthy.

However, when the seller saw Anderson driving the vehicle in the town on 16 July he contacted the police, who already were aware that Anderson was only holding a provisional licence.

When they noticed him driving around town, they followed him and signalled for him to stop. Anderson ignored this and instead accelerated to get away from the police.

Following a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre at high speed in Lerwick town centre and with police at his heel Anderson eventually crashed the vehicle into a garden wall, and damaging the house as well as parked vehicles nearby as a result of flying debris.

Mackenzie said there was no evidence of him braking.

The fiscal added that the householder was in bed at the time, and while he did not hear the crash due to being hearing impaired he could feel the impact of Anderson crashing into the wall.

Defending Anderson, solicitor Tommy Allan said there was little he could say in mitigation but handed a number of letters from his mother, his partner and Anderson himself to Sheriff Cruickshank giving an insight “where he is in his life”.

Allan said: “He knows pretty well that he is not going anywhere today.”

Sentencing Anderson, sheriff Cruickshank told him that there was no alternative to a custodial sentence, and added that it was “fortuitous and surprising” that his offending did not have a more serious impact.

Anderson was told to serve a 14-month jail term. He was banned from driving for two years and seven months, and was told that he had to pass the extended test of competence to obtain a driving licence.

The court also heard that Anderson served a four-month prison sentence for a different offence while on bail, which will impact on the period this latest prison term can be backdated to take into account the time spent in custody before sentencing.