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Court / Fine and ban for dangerous driving

Lerwick Sheriff Court. Photo: Shetland News

A YOUNG driver from Gulberwick has lost his licence after admitting driving dangerously.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard on Thursday how Noah Newcombe, of Lower Hillside, overtook another car in the face of coming traffic before “tailgating” other vehicles over a distance of around 10 kilometres.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank fined the 20-year-old £1,000 and disqualified him for 12 months, or further until he sits the extended test of competence.

Newcombe admitted driving dangerously on the A970 between Girlsta and the Brig o’ Fitch on 20 April last year.

He pleaded guilty to repeatedly driving in dangerously close proximity to preceding vehicles and executing an overtake manoeuvre in the face of an oncoming vehicle.

The charge stated that this caused the vehicle being overtaken to brake harshly and his own car to brake to such an extent that he momentarily lost control in order for him to return to the correct carriageway.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the incident happened at around 5pm.

Newcombe drove onto the A970 to find himself behind a queue of seven vehicles, the court heard.

“He was clearly driving aggressively and extremely anxious to overtake,” Mackenzie said.

The court heard Newcombe was also tailgating the vehicle in front, causing the driver in front to put on their hazard lights.

Newcombe then started overtaking that vehicle plus the one in front, but it was in the face of an oncoming vehicle.

Mackenzie said that vehicle had to brake harshly, while Newcombe also had to put on the brakes too.

That caused Newcombe’s car to “fish tail” before returning to his side of the road.

Mackenzie then said Newcombe ended up behind a bus which he then tailgated before finding an opportunity to overtake.

“That was for some distance,” the fiscal said – around 10 kilometres.

The court heard how one of the drivers involved went to Lerwick Police Station to report the incident, and officers noticed that he was still physically shaking from the “near miss”.

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Defence agent Andrew Seggie said Newcombe accepted it was an “extremely poorly judged piece of driving” and that it fell below acceptable standards.

He noted how his client had only passed his test in December 2022 and therefore was still considered a new driver.

The solicitor also said Newcombe losing his licence would have consequences not just for his work as an apprentice electrician but also for his family.

Speaking as he sentenced Newcombe, Sheriff Cruickshank said it was a “very serious course of conduct”.

As the offence happened within six months of Newcombe passing his test, the sheriff also said all young drivers should consider their driving carefully and how it affects other road users.

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