Jail for man who fled crash scene

A man who crashed his newly-acquired car in the early hours of New Year’s morning before fleeing from the scene has been jailed for 22 weeks.

James Douglas, 29, of Lerwick’s Nederdale was also banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to resit the extended test before he can get his licence back.

Douglas admitted driving dangerously and at excessive speed for the layout of the road in South Road on 1st January.

He headed the wrong way around the Tesco roundabout, losing control of his vehicle and hitting a traffic sign and lamp post, damaging both.
Douglas also failed to stop to provide his name and address or report the accident.

Appearing from custody before sheriff Philip Mann yesterday, Douglas also admitted breaching bail conditions granted by the Lerwick court.

In December Douglas was ordered to abide by a curfew after he admitted causing a breach of the peace and struggling violently with police in July.

At the time police had to use a CS spray to subdue Douglas. The incident came after he was refused re-entry to a darts tournament at the Clickimin Leisure Centre. Sentence for that offence had also been deferred until yesterday.

Being out on the road put Douglas in breach of his court order.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said a taxi driver had spotted Douglas’ car being driven at speed the wrong way round the roundabout.
He told the court Douglas lost control and collided with the lamp post before getting out the wreckage and leaving his passenger trapped in the car.
Douglas was not tracked down and later contacted the police himself.

Mr MacKenzie said it “did not take much imagination” to understand why Douglas had fled the scene, showing “no concern” for his friend.
The passenger had to be cut free by firefighters who attended the scene and removed the roof from the car.

Defence solicitor Christopher Maitland said Douglas accepted he had been driving too fast, although he thought he may have hit ice before the accident happened. He added that the car had just been bought that day.

Mr Maitland said Douglas had spoken to his passenger to check he was okay, but had not given much thought, at the time, to his responsibilities.
He added Douglas had thought he heard the taxi driver phoning for an ambulance.

The court heard Douglas was unable to provide any particular explanation as to why he had breached his curfew.

Sheriff Philip Mann told Douglas: “Had it not been for the fact you re-offended on 1st January in quite a spectacular fashion I think I could have been persuaded to deal with the earlier matter relating to the disturbance at the Clickimin without a custodial sentence.

“It seems to me the new charge of dangerous driving is not just a case of dangerous driving. There are other serious elements touched on by the procurator fiscal.
“That, combined with the fact you breached your bail conditions compels me to impose a custodial sentence. Your bail condition was amended to take account of the fact you were working. That was an amendment to give you an opportunity, and you didn’t take it.”

Douglas’ sentence was back-dated to 3rd January when he was first taken into custody.


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