17th August 2018
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Whalsay man drove at ‘unbelievable speeds’ to catch ferry home

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A man who drove dangerously at over 100mph because he feared missing his ferry home has been banned for 16 months and fined £500.

Iain Charlton, 35, of Tripwell, Brough in Whalsay was driving with a child in his car when he reached three-figure speeds in strong winds and heavy rain.
Lerwick Sheriff Court today heard standing water was on the road-surface when Charlton drove on the main route between Lerwick and Girlsta.

The incident happened at night on 15th September. Police saw Charlton driving “exceptionally fast” in the distance. They had to travel at up to 117mph to catch up with the car.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said that, at that speed, Charlton seemed to be maintaining the distance between them.

“He had left the cinema in Lerwick and was late, and was trying to catch the ferry back to Whalsay,” he said.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Charlton had phoned ahead to warn the ferrymen he might be late, but was worried the boat might go without them.
He said that, as far as Charlton was aware, there were no other vehicles on the road at that time.

Sheriff Philip Mann ordered Charlton to resit the extended test once his driving ban has ended.

“Driving at this speed is just unbelievable in these conditions. You were taking a considerable risk. Things could so easily have gone wrong. Fortunately they didn’t, but that’s more by good fortune than design.”

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