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Court / Ban for young man who drove like a ‘maniac’ with police in pursuit

A TEENAGER from Shetland’s North Mainland who drove like an “absolute maniac” and sparked a police chase has been given a lengthy ban.

Daniel Johnson, from Sullom, was given a 32-month disqualification when he appeared for sentencing at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

He was also placed under supervision for two years and given 180 hours of unpaid work to complete.

The 19-year-old had previously admitted a string of motoring offences including driving dangerously and whilst disqualified on 18 November, and with no insurance and MOT in place.

The court previously heard that rather than stopping when police in an unmarked vehicle wanted to speak to him because of a faulty headlight at Lerwick’s Ladies Drive, Johnson accelerated and sped out of town with police in close pursuit.

The court had heard that Johnson was doing in excess of 90 miles per hour, without police being able to close the gap.

At one stage he was double the speed limit and following him became unsafe.

As more police units were called to help, Johnson headed for Trondra and disappeared from sight for a while.

The court previously heard that Johnson then appeared from behind a shed and was speeding back in the opposite direction.

At the single track Trondra bridge he had to stop to allow another vehicle to cross the bridge. When police pulled up in front of him, he reversed excessively.

When a local police officer approached his vehicle from the opposite direction, the teenager left his vehicle and ran off into the field.

In poor weather police became concerned for Johnson’s wellbeing and the coastguard was asked for help to locate him in the darkness.

The court heard that it was only when police were able to obtain a phone number for the 19-year-old that they were able to speak to him.

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He subsequently handed himself in and coastguard volunteers were able to be stood down before a search commenced.

Speaking at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday, defence agent Tommy Allan admitted it was an “appalling piece of driving”.

He said Johnson should never have driven in the first place, adding that he could benefit from doing work on understanding risk and impulsivity.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said the charge of dangerous driving whilst being pursued by police was particularly serious.

He said Johnson drove like an “absolute maniac” and put not only his own life in danger but other people’s too.

The teenager will have to sit the extended test of competence to before getting his licence back in the future.

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