Two young drivers who let the bad blood between them spill out onto the roads narrowly avoided a driving ban at Lerwick Sheriff Court today.
Jason Mclean, 23, of Upper Sound in the town, and Ryan Williamson, 20, of Mossbank, instead had nine points placed on their licences and were fined £900 each.
Mclean had admitted driving carelessly when he manoeuvred his large Toyota Hilux pick-up truck close behind a car driven by his co-accused on the A968 to Mossbank on 2nd November last year.
He passed Williamson and slowed down in front of him, in an attempt to prevent Williamson from overtaking him.
For his part, Williamson then attempted to overtake Mclean but stopped short of completing the manoeuvre.
The court heard Mclean had effectively been the victim of a bullying campaign.
He was concerned by how close Williamson was driving to a car in front of them, which was being driven by Mclean’s girlfriend.
Williamson’s car had three other occupants. The court was told objects were thrown from inside the car, one of which cracked the windscreen of Mclean’s Hilux.
Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said: “This was extreme foolishness, and there could have been very serious consequences indeed. These two have to put their disagreements into context and stay away from each other.”
Defence agent for Mclean, Tommy Allan, said rude gestures had been made at him from inside Williamson’s car.
He argued Mclean’s pick-up was, while elderly, well maintained by Mclean, who works for a local engineering firm.
Mr Allan said Mclean was not a person who was regularly warned by police about his driving.
He went to the police in Lerwick the following day to report the incident.
“He is aware this is not acceptable and this is something he may be disqualified for,” he said. “He accepts he didn’t leave enough space and that’s not the way he should have driven.”
Williamson’s agent Gregor Kelly said his client had wanted to make Mclean’s car pulled over to the side and stopped when he started to overtake him.
Williamson did not “gesticulate” in any way to Mclean and he was unaware of anyone else in the car doing so.
He said Williamson had felt “dazzled” by Mclean’s lights which, he thought, were on full beam when the pick-up was directly behind him.
“He maintains he himself slowed down to let the pick-up overtake, and there was erratic driving which caused him to go over into the other lane with the intention of winding down his window to see what was going on.”
He said delivery driver Williamson, who has been in full employment since leaving school, was driving a standard Ford Escort with no modifications.
Sheriff Graeme Napier said both accused had shown “elements of aggression which is simply inappropriate on the road”.
“I was minded to disqualify both of you. This is the sort of aggressive behaviour that leads to very serious accidents.”