Driver released early from prison caught while still banned and with no insurance

A man who caused the death of his friend through drink driving over five years ago is in custody after being caught behind the wheel again.

Ross Sutherland, 24, of Port Arthur, Scalloway, was warned he faced a lengthy prison sentence when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court today.

He admitted driving on Scalloway Road and Queen’s Place in Lerwick while disqualified, and without insurance, on 16th May.

Co-accused James Garson, 24, of Walls, admitted permitting Sutherland to commit the driving offences.

Meanwhile, Sutherland also pleaded guilty to possessing the Class A drug diamorphine at the Freefield car park on 27th April.

Sutherland had been released early from a prison sentence of four years and eight months. The prison term was handed down by the High Court in Edinburgh in December 2008 after his friend, Ian Sandison, died in a high-speed crash in the town a year earlier.

Sutherland had also been banned from driving for five years. Lerwick Sheriff Court today heard it would have been August before Sutherland reached the end of his prison sentence.

Sheriff Mann referred Sutherland’s original case back to the High Court. The new complaint was adjourned until 11th July at Lerwick.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie opposed bail. He said: “He is somebody who is disqualified and that follows from an offence where he killed someone driving. Yet he still has the audacity to get behind the wheel of a car and drive unlawfully.”

He added that Sutherland was “not somebody with the necessary maturity to ob-temper [comply with] a court order”.

Sheriff Mann told Sutherland: “Driving while disqualified is a serious offence and could result in a custodial sentence.

“Having been told of the matter referred to in the previous conviction, it’s my view that a custodial sentence is almost inevitable. You are looking at a lengthy period of custody, I’m afraid.”

Garson was released on bail and will also appear on 11th July.


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