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Drugs mule carrying £70k of cannabis is forced off A90 after high speed police pursuit

Luke Rattigan-Woolery
Luke Rattigan-Woolery

A county lines drugs mule was rammed off the road by police at the end of a dramatic high speed chase along the A90.

Luke Rattigan-Woollery accelerated away from officers when they tried to pull over his vehicle near Inchture.

The 27-year-old weaved in and out of traffic, forcing pursuing officers to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

The chase, which happened during a Friday evening rush-hour, ended when police ploughed into Rattigan-Woollery’s black BMW and forced it into a ditch.

Investigators recovered around £70,000 worth of cannabis from his vehicle.

Police operation to halt drugs

Rattigan-Woollery, from Failworth, near Oldham, appeared at Perth Sherff Court and admitted driving dangerously along the A90, near the B953 turn-off, on February 19, 2021.

He also pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of cannabis, as part of an offence that was linked to serious organised crime.

Fiscal depute Lora Apostolova said police in Birmingham received a tip-off that a black BMW 4 Series was transporting a large amount of controlled substance to the Dundee area from Manchester.

“Several police units began searching for the vehicle on the A90 Perth to Dundee road,” she said.

Officers spotted the suspect’s car travelling east, towards Inchture, at about 5.30pm.

“A pre-emptive stop was carried out by three marked police vehicles,” said Ms Apostolova.

“Blue lights were activated and the vehicle was instructed to stop.

“However, the car failed to stop and a police pursuit began.”

She said the BMW “accelerated aggressively” and carried out evasive manoeuvres on the carriageway, moving from the nearside to outer lane.

“This forced officers within their marked police vehicle to the offside of lane two, narrowly avoiding a collision with the central reserve,” the fiscal depute said.

“The BMW moved back into lane one, mounted the grass verge to undertake a marked police car in an attempt to make good an escape.

“At this point, the vehicle was forced into the roadside ditch by the marked police vehicles, concluding the pursuit.”

Drugs found in car boot

Rattigan-Woollery was taken out of the crashed car and placed in handcuffs.

He was taken to Ninewells Hospital for treatment to superficial cuts on his hands.

Officers searched the boot of the car and found a vinyl bag containing seven large vacuum sealed bags of a green herbal substance.

They were confirmed to contain about seven kilos of cannabis.

Ms Apostolova said the bags had a “maximum potential illicit value” of around £70,000.

She added the two police vehicles involved in the pursuit suffered more than £4,700 worth of damage.

Bail refused

The court heard Rattigan-Woollery – a one-time budding actor and model – had three points on his licence but no previous convictions.

Solicitor Pauline Cullerton asked for her client, an IVA case administrator, to be released on bail so he could attend his grandfather’s funeral.

She said he had complied with previous bail conditions, including an order to stay out of Scotland.

Sheriff William Wood told Rattigan-Woollery he had little option but to refuse bail.

“While I understand the difficulties and impact this will have on you and your family, I’m afraid given the nature of these charges that a custodial sentence is virtually inescapable,” he said.

Rattigan-Woollery will be brought back to court for sentencing on February 17.

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