Nine months for dis­qual­i­fied driver who sparked car chase

The Oban Times - - News -

A DIS­QUAL­I­FIED driver who ‘pan­icked’ when he was spot­ted, sparked a high-speed po­lice chase through the streets of Oban, the town’s sher­iff court heard last week.

Other mo­torists had to brake sharply as James Hendry sped away through road junc­tions, mount­ing the pave­ment, and weav­ing in and out of traf­fic un­til the risk to the pub­lic was so great that the po­lice stopped.

‘Po­lice de­cided it was too dan­ger­ous for them to con­tinue, so in po­lice terms, the chase was ‘ stood down’,’ said procu­ra­tor Eoin McGinty.

The of­fi­cers then drove round the town look­ing for the VW Golf, which be­longed to Hendry’s part­ner.

They found Hendry, 34, of 1 Hill Street, Oban, walk­ing through Ar­gyll Square. The car was found in the al­ley­way by the Royal Ho­tel; the ho­tel’s CCTV showed Hendry tak­ing off his hat and jacket and drop­ping them there be­fore walk­ing away.

Hendry ad­mit­ted three charges: driv­ing while dis­qual­i­fied, driv­ing dan­ger­ously at ex­ces­sive speeds and with­out in­sur­ance on Oc­to­ber 2. Mr McGinty told the court that when po­lice saw Hendry, whom they knew to be dis­qual­i­fied, they sig­nalled for him to stop but he took off along Steven­son Street, fail­ing to give way at the junc­tion and caus­ing an­other car to brake sharply. He broke the speed limit in Glen­cruit­ten Road, turned onto Quarry Road and then Sin­clair Drive, where he went through a stop sign and mounted the pave­ment. By the time he reached Moss­field Av­enue he was weav­ing in and out of slower-mov­ing traf­fic.

Ed­ward Thorn­ton, Hendry’s defence agent, said: ‘He sim­ply pan­icked when he re­alised he had been seen.’

The car be­longed to his part­ner and had been parked on Star Brae; he went to col­lect the car to save the driver the walk up the steep hill to col­lect it.

‘He ac­cepts it was gross stu­pid­ity on his part,’ said Mr Thorn­ton.

Sher­iff Ruth An­der­son QC sen­tenced Hendry to a to­tal of nine months in jail and dis­qual­i­fied him from driv­ing for two years and ruled that he must re­sit

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