Nine months for disqualified driver who sparked car chase
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