Police could not keep up with speeding motorcyclist

A motorcyclist who rode his machine at three figure speeds narrowly avoided losing his licence when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

Vincent Tonner, 27, of North Nesting admitted driving his machine carelessly and at grossly excessive speed when he appeared in the dock on Wednesday.

Tonner had been riding on the A-road between the South Nesting junction and Lerwick on 31st July last year.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Tonner had been spotted by officers in a police van riding at a very high speed.

“Police officers, travelling in a Transit-style van, were travelling at the maximum speed of that vehicle, and he [Tonner] was still disappearing into the distance.”

Mr MacKenzie summed up the Crown’s case in colloquial terms. “He’s gone out on a fine night and opened up the throttle,” he told sheriff Philip Mann.

Defence agent Liam McAllister said Tonner committed the offence in mid summer last year, and had neither offended before or since.

He urged sheriff Mann to spare Tonner from a driving ban, insisting he would lose his job if he was disqualified.

The agent said Tonner was a young man who supported his disabled wife and young child. He said the mechanic had held a clean licence since he was 17, “and holds various other licences with regards to advanced driving”.

He said Tonner’s employer regarded him as “an exceptional worker” with a “strong work ethic”.

Sheriff Mann said Tonner was in a difficult position. He said the careless driving complaint to which Tonner had pleaded guilty was more serious than a speeding charge.

“If somebody came up to me speeding at 100mph, it’s almost automatically a disqualification,” the sheriff said.

Mr McAllister said the offence had been an isolated incident, and described Tonner as a “mild-mannered, polite and thoroughly decent gentleman to deal with.”

The sheriff placed nine points on Tonner’s licence and fined him £600 for the offence.

He told him: “I would be amply justified in imposing a period of disqualification but I am persuaded that I can deal with this without imposing disqualification today.”


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