21st October 2018
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Man fled scene to avoid being breathalysed

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A man who crashed his works van and fled after he had been drinking at a birthday party has been disqualified from driving for four months.

Neil Ward, 38, of Quoys Road in Lerwick was also fined £600 after he admitted failing to stop and report an accident in the town’s St Olaf Street on 24th January last year.

Engineer Ward drove the vehicle after being called out on a “homer” following the celebration.

He admitted the offence at Lerwick Sheriff Court today.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Ward had taken to his heels after he had collided with a parked car.

He insisted: “It’s the Crown’s position he fled the scene to avoid being breathalysed by the police.

“This is not a technical failure or any misunderstanding of the law. He knew exactly what he was doing and this was a deliberate fleeing from the scene to avoid the authorities.”

Defence agent Tommy Allan said that although Ward was served drinks at the party, they were not all for his consumption.

He added Ward travelled with a workmate to carry out a homer.

“After having done that, because it was Mr Ward’s works van, he got in the driver’s seat.”

He said Ward’s workmate of 20 years standing had got in the van with him.

“He wouldn’t have done so had there been any doubt in his mind,” added Mr Allan.

The court heard conditions had been icy on the night. Mr Allan added: “He should have reported it immediately to the police, and he didn’t do that. He accepts part of his thinking was that he had some doubt as to whether he’d pass a breath test, but his view with the benefit of hindsight is that he would have been okay.”

Mr Allan said Ward had been anxious about the consequences of using a works van to carry out the personal job without the say-so of his work.

Sheriff Philip Mann told Ward: “It’s clear to me from what’s been said your decision to flee the scene after the accident and not report the matter to the police … was designed to ensure that the necessary tests could not be carried out so that you would escape possible prosecution for driving with excess alcohol.”

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