A former boxing star who was reported to police three times during a disaster-filled first day as a delivery driver has dodged a prison sentence.
Alarmed witnesses saw Billy Moore motoring through rural Perthshire at excessive speeds and careering onto the wrong side of the carriageway.
He drove his white van into a ditch, through flower beds and repeatedly slammed it into a lamp post.
Moore, a former Scotland international boxer, was stopped twice by police during his five-hour trip but was sent on his way both times.
He was eventually charged by officers after he struck another vehicle but failed to stop.
The victim pursued him, flashing her lights and sounding her horn, before pulling in front of the van and forcing him to brake.
Was keen to make a ‘good impression’
Moore, 38, appeared at Perth Sheriff Court on Wednesday and admitted two charges of dangerous driving on Hogmanay 2019.
The court heard Moore was feeling unwell when he set off on his rounds but did not phone in sick because he “wanted to make a good impression.”
Sheriff Lindsay Foulis told him: “You were weaving a path of potential destruction on the roads around Perthshire and Crieff.
“This was a consistent catalogue of dangerous driving. If someone had lost their life here, we would be looking at a sentence of imprisonment of up to double figures.”
Sheriff Foulis said the fact no one was seriously injured was “undoubtedly by luck, rather than design”.
He ordered him to complete 280 hours of unpaid work and banned him from the road for 33 months.
Fiscal depute Andrew Harding said that a witness, driving on the A85 at Huntingtower, was so concerned about Moore’s driving that he decided to follow him.
“The van had hit the pavement for no apparent reason and then crossed the central line, before returning to its own side of the carriageway.”
Both vehicles turned onto Tibbermore Road, where Moore stopped at a corner.
“The witness saw a grey Volvo about to pass,” said Mr Harding.
“The van pulled out suddenly without indicating, forcing the driver of the Volvo to brake sharply.”
The witness continued to follow the van, towards Gloagburn Farm.
“It spent the majority of its time in the opposite side of the carriageway.
“At one point, the accused was driving at between 40 and 50 mph and drove into a ditch.”
Van gets stuck
At Gloagburn, the van got stuck between the farm shop and a hedge.
Moore managed to manoeuvre into the car park, where he was seen getting out to deliver a parcel.
“The witness called the police at this point, while sitting in the car park,” Mr Harding said.
Police arrived at 9.40am but officers released Moore without charge after a negative breath test.
Just before 1pm, another driver saw the van as he joined the A85 between Crieff and Gilmerton.
“It was travelling in the same direction as the witness,” Mr Harding said.
“Again, he noticed it was being driven erratically, from side to side and mounted a verge and a pavement.
“The witness turned off the main road, and saw the same van parked outside the derelict George Hotel.
“He saw the accused, bent over and appeared to be trying to compose himself, outside the vehicle.
“The witness contacted the police and by the time he had explained what he had seen, the accused got back in his van and drove off at speed.
“The witness followed the van, which was heading westward along Commissioner Street and then up Comrie Road.”
“Take more care”
At this time, a third witness became aware of Moore’s van behind her.
“It was very close to the back of her car,” said Mr Harding.
“She activated her hazard lights in an effort to encourage the accused to slow down.”
Moore was seen pulling out to overtake, but then returned to his side of the road, narrowly missing the woman’s car in front.
Just after 1pm, Moore reached Comrie Holiday Park.
When he was told he could not park outside the manager’s chalet, Moore attempted to reverse out of the driveway, striking a lamp post several times.
As he left the park, he drove into the path of an oncoming vehicle which was forced to brake suddenly.
Police were dispatched to trace Moore and caught up with him on the A85 at around 1.20pm.
Mr Harding said: “The accused was asked for a specimen of breath, which he agreed to do. It had a reading of zero.
“He was allowed on his way, but instructed to slow down and take more care.”
Journey finally ends
Just before 2pm, another driver heading east on the A85 spotted Moore’s van behind her.
“The van was swerving over the carriageway and she (the witness) believed it was trying to overtake her,” Mr Harding said.
“She pulled into the side of the road to allow him to pass. As he did, the van struck the side of her car, but did not stop.
“She followed him into Methven. She flashed her lights and sounded her horn to try and get his attention.
“She then pulled her vehicle in front of the van, causing him to stop.”
She stepped out of her car and approached Moore. The pair waited at the side of the road for the police to arrive.
When officers turned, they instructed Moore not to drive any further.
Van was “too big” for new driver
Defence agent Pauline Cullerton told the court that Moore had started work for a parcel delivery firm.
“His van was full and some of the items it was carrying were very heavy,” she said.
“He was feeling unwell at the start of his shift, but wanted to make a good impression to his bosses.
“He now accepts that the van he was driving was just too big for him.”
She said: “I can only imagine the drivers were extremely alarmed at his manner of driving. It could have been a lot more serious, but thankfully it wasn’t.”
The court heard Moore had passed his driving test several months earlier.