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Court / Teenager ordered to appear at court in person after sheriff hears of ‘insane driving’

A SEVENTEEN year old whose driving on a morning shortly before Christmas was described by a sheriff as “insane” and “absolutely unbelievable” has had sentence deferred for reports and a personal appearance.

The teenager, who cannot be named as he is under the age of 18, pleaded guilty to driving dangerously on the wrong side of an unclassified road at Sandwick and on the A970 towards Lerwick on 21 December last year.

He admitted overtaking another car with his windows steamed up restricting visibility, repeatedly driving on the wrong side of the road and overtaking in the face of oncoming traffic, requiring other drivers to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

The teenager also overtook approaching a blind corner and drove at excessive speed, all of which occurred “in close proximity to pedestrians, cyclists and children” shortly before 9am.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said it was “quite inexplicable behaviour” at a time when children, some of them cycling, were heading to school.

The incident began at around 8.50am when a driver was about to turn right from a junction near Sandwick Garage and noticed the accused’s vehicle on the wrong side of the road parallel to her and in the process of overtaking her.

Heading up the hill out of Sandwick, the teenager attempted to take a sharp corner at speed, skidding into the path of an oncoming vehicle whose driver took evasive action and was seen shaking his head at the manner of the driving.

The teenager carried on driving north and overtook another vehicle “at speed” going through Cunningsburgh. The road, which was busy at the time, has numerous junctions as well as a primary school.

At a subsequent junction he veered onto the wrong side of the road and attempted to overtake another vehicle that was attempting to turn right onto the A970.

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Heading north towards Quarff he tried to overtake four vehicles heading into a blind corner, resulting in all four having to “break sharply” and a driver coming the other way “effectively having to make an emergency stop” to avoid a crash, the fiscal said.

The driver, who had two young children in the car with her, was “considerably shaken up”.

When spoken to later that day, the fiscal said, the teenager told police he “can’t believe I’ll lose my licence” over “one silly manoeuvre”.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said what he had heard was not so much dangerous as “insane” and “absolutely unbelievable” driving.

He imposed an interim disqualification and deferred sentence for a criminal justice social enquiry report. The teenager will be required to appear in person at Lerwick Sheriff Court on 16 March.


Space2face Shetland

Space2face Shetland is an independent and confidential service which uses Restorative Justice and the arts to bring those harmed by crime or conflict and those responsible for the harm into communication. We enable everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.

If you would like to reach out to us, please contact us via e-mail info@space2face.org or mobile 07564 832467.

If you would like to know more, visit our website www.space2face.org, or our Facebook page #space2faceshetland.

The project is also currently fundraising to secure office space in Shetland’s brand-new creativity and wellness centre, The Mission. If you’re interested in getting involved, or making a donation, head over to www.space2face.org/how-you-can-help



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