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Court / ‘Extraordinary foolish’ behaviour leads to driving ban for fisherman

A FISHERMAN from the north east of Scotland has been disqualified for 16 months after admitting driving in Scalloway while unfit through drink or drugs earlier this year.

David Gatt, of Loch Street, Whitemills, Banff, was also fined £1,350.

A not guilty plea to a second charge of driving at excessive speed and crashing the car was accepted by the Crown.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard on Thursday how Gatt and fellow crew members of a north east fishing boat were drinking in Scalloway after landing their catch on 20 February.

The 35-year-old ended up driving some of the crew back to their fishing boat in a car that did not belong to him, with the owner sitting in the passenger seat.

The vehicle he was driving ended up in a field after leaving the road and going through a fence. Both the driver and passenger escaped uninjured.

By the time police were made aware of the accident and attended the scene in New Road, Gatt had left Shetland on the fishing vessel.

Defence solicitor Michael Burnett said his client accepted he had been driving and felt he was in a fit state to drive.

He said losing his licence would have an impact on Gatt’s ability of getting to and from work as he was required to travel to different ports in Scotland.

Sheriff David Harvie told Gatt that his actions had been “extraordinary foolish”, adding that he should regard himself as “very fortunate” that he and his passenger were able to walk away from the vehicle uninjured.

Gatt has 28 days to pay the fine. He can also reduce the length of disqualification by a quarter should he successfully complete a drink driver’s rehabilitation course.

Meanwhile, a young driver from Cunningsburgh was disqualified and fined £400 after pleading guilty to a charge of driving without due care and attention in Lerwick on 13 May.

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Nathan Adamson, of Aithsetter, pulled out of Burgh Road into South Road right into the path of a police vehicle which had to brake sharply to avoid collision.

The court heard that should the 18-year-old receive further points on his licence he would be automatically disqualified, leading to him losing his job at a local car hire company.

As an alternative, sheriff David Harvie imposed a discretionary disqualification of two months which should safeguard his employment.


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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