The hunt is on for an Angus town centre crash drug-driver who did a lunchtime runner from court.
Edward Nutten appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court for sentencing after he careered into a building in the centre of Montrose while high on a cocktail of a cannabis and powerful street Valium.
The one-time heroin addict tried to drive away from the scene after picking up the pieces of his crashed vehicle.
Nutten was in the dock while the circumstances of the incident were narrated, but after a sheriff delayed sentencing over lunchtime to allow full consideration of a criminal justice report the 34-year-old failed to return.
Depute fiscal Laura McGillvery told the court a pedestrian walking in Montrose’s New Wynd became aware of a car driving at speed beside her around 2.30pm on June 9, before it veered right, went through the junction with Baltic Street and mounted the pavement before hitting a house.
“At no time did the brake lights illuminate or the vehicle appear to slow,” the fiscal said.
The pedestrian rushed to help Nutten, whose speech was slurred. He was also unsteady on his feet when he got out of the car. Two other people in the car appeared unhurt.
“The accused picked up debris from the car, placed it in the rear of the vehicle and attempted to drive off,” added Ms McGillvery.
Police arrived minutes later and a roadside alcohol breath test proved negative.
Nutten was taken to police headquarters but a blood sample could not be obtained because of the quality of his veins.
Despite initially agreeing to provide a urine sample, the accused then refused.
Nutten, of Southesk Terrace, Brechin admitted driving at excessive speed in Montrose on June 9 while unfit through drink or drugs.
Defence solicitor Michael Boyd said his client had been trying to self-detox from a heroin addiction at the time.
“He had taken cannabis and street Valium, which was stronger and has then had the effect of heroin,” he said.
“Mr Nutten was in the navy and has held down jobs in the oil industry, but is now a full-time carer for his mother. He is no longer abusing heroin,” added Mr Boyd.
Sheriff Derek Reekie told Nutten: “Driving in that condition the risks to people in the car and pedestrians are obviously highly significant and it is extraordinarily lucky that no-one was hurt.”
Following the accused’s failure to appear after the lunch break a warrant was issued for his arrest.