An Angus drug driver who fled court when panic set in over the prospect of prison has been spared a spell behind bars.
Former heroin addict Nutten was high on cannabis and powerful street Valium at the time of the mid-afternoon incident on June 9 and tried to pick up the pieces of his damaged vehicle and make off from the scene.
Nutten, of Southesk Terrace, Brechin was arrested on a warrant issued by Sheriff Derek Reekie and appeared back in front of him from custody this week.
Defence solicitor Michael Boyd said: “He does apologise. After the discussions which had taken place he essentially had a panic attack and thought he was on the threshold of a custodial sentence.
“He travelled to Falkirk to say goodbye to his son.
“In fairness, he had attended court promptly last Thursday morning for the calling of his case, but there was this aberration in the afternoon when he got in a panic over what might happen to him.”
He said Nutten had self-detoxed from heroin and now spent 35 hours a week as his mother’s carer.
Sheriff Reekie told Nutten: “This is a very serious matter.
“The potential risk was huge – you went across a junction, swerved and hit a building and you could have easily hit the pedestrian who saw you or anyone else.
“I take the view the custody threshold has been met. However, in view of you not having previously served a custodial sentence and the gap in your offending I am satisfied there is an alternative.”
Nutten was banned from driving for three years and ordered to carry out 225 hours unpaid work.