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Jail for Buckfast-fuelled driver who pulled police across Perth car park

William Mason

A Buckfast-fuelled driver who endangered the lives of six police officers when he dragged them across a Perth car park has been jailed.

William Mason drove over a stinger and smashed into a police car at the end of a tense stand-off outside his Strathtay Road home.

Constables clung to his vehicle as they tried to stop him driving into the path of children who were playing nearby.

When he was pulled out of his car and handcuffed on the ground, Mason said of one officer: “He’s lucky he never went under the f***ing wheels.”

Mental health not to blame

The 37-year-old previously admitted driving dangerously while under the influence of alcohol or drugs on June 11 last year and endangering the lives of six officers.

Sentence was delayed until this week for a psychiatric report.

Strathtay Road, Perth
The scene of the altercation in Strathtay Road, Perth

The assessment ruled Mason’s underlying mental health issues were not the cause of his offending.

Jailing him for 18 months, Perth Sheriff William Wood said: “There is a strong indication that alcohol was responsible for your loss of judgement.

“You knew that police officers were engaged at the side of your car but nonetheless you tried to drive off with them clinging on to the vehicle as you drove forwards and then backwards.

“There is no doubt that this is a serious matter.

“You endangered the lives of these officers.”

Mason was also banned from the road for 42 months.

Busy street

Fiscal depute Michael Sweeney said the area, a small car park at the edge of the street, was busy with families and children on bicycles.

At about 2.45pm, police received a tip-off that a man dressed in orange appeared to be under the influence.

Mr Sweeney said: “Officers traced Mr Mason, who was wearing orange shorts, in the driver’s seat of his black Mercedes car.

“They asked him to leave the area and stay with a friend.

Strathtay Road
Strathtay Road

“They offered him transport to get there but he refused, stating he would stay inside the car.”

Mr Sweeney said the car’s doors were locked.

“The driver’s side window was partially open and the constables could smell alcohol coming from inside the car.

“There was an open bottle of Buckfast on the passenger seat.

“It appeared to be empty.”

Call for back-up, stinger and hammer

Officers made repeated requests to Mason to exit the vehicle but he refused and made threats to drive away.

Officers moved their car to the rear of Mason’s Mercedes to stop him driving onto the street.

“The accused said if the police tried to enter the car, he would drive off,” said Mr Sweeney.

Back up was summoned and four other officers were scrambled to the scene.

“A stinger device was deployed at the rear of the accused’s car.

“Repeated efforts were made by all officers to ask the accused to exit the vehicle.

“When the accused made further threats to drive off, officers told him that children were on the street on their bicycles nearby.”

Mr Sweeney said: “The accused revved the engine.

“Constable Samuel Ness utilised a hammer to shatter the offside window as the accused began to reverse.

“The vehicle went over the stinger and collided with the police vehicle.

“Four constables all took hold of the accused in an attempt to remove him from the vehicle, while another constable tried to open the driver’s door.”

Police pulled across car park

Mr Sweeney said: “The accused put the car into forward gear and revved excessively.

“The vehicle then accelerated sharply, pulling the officers along with the vehicle and collided with the embankment, which the car climbed before coming to a stop.

“The car then reversed down the embankment.”

Officers pulled Mason out of the car handcuffed him.

Mr Sweeney said the police involved suffered cuts but did not require medical treatment.

Solicitor Calum Weir attempted to persuade the court not to jail his client.

“He had difficulty coping with this situation and he reacted badly,” he said.

“Obviously, the consequences could have been extremely serious.”

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