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Joyrider who led police on pursuit across Dundee golf course is jailed

Police gave chase across Caird Park golf course
Police gave chase across Caird Park golf course

A Dundee joyrider who drove across a city golf course while being chased by police has been jailed for two years.

Kieren McAnearney led officers on a pursuit around greens and fairways at Caird Park.

He forced an elderly woman with a walking aid and another holding a child to leap out of the way of his Vauxhall Insignia.

McAnearney admitted five driving offences including colliding with a police car, causing “extensive damage” and forcing it to be taken out of service.

The 27-year-old drove past stunned golfers on a full circuit of Caird Park golf course and finally abandoned the car after terrifying walkers on a service road.

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael jailed him for two years, during a hearing at Dundee Sheriff Court. 

Dundee Sheriff Court.
Dundee Sheriff Court.

HMP Perth inmate McAnearney, a father-of-two, appeared by video link.

His solicitor Carolyn Leckie said: “Your lordship will be concerned at the nature of this offence.

“He did ask to resolve this at a very early stage.”

She said: “Mr McAnearney tells me he fully accepts responsibility.

“There seems to be a history here of rash and reckless decision making.

“He tells me he will accept support from wherever.”

Ms Leckie told the court: “He feels that he’s been stupid and very vulnerable to peer pressure and acting the big man.

“Hopefully he is starting to turn a corner and beginning to mature.”

‘Selfish, stupid and highly dangerous’

Sheriff Carmichael said it was only “by good fortune” that nobody was hurt or even killed.

He said: “You were disqualified and you then decided to drive a car.

“You drove without insurance.

“You failed to stop when told to do so for police.

“This was a case of truly appalling driving.

“Your driving was so dangerous that police officers decided not to pursue your car in fear.

“Your conduct was selfish, stupid and highly dangerous.

“Only a custodial sentence is appropriate.”

The sheriff also banned McAnearney from driving for five years.

Collided with car

Previously, the court heard how motorists were alerted to McAnearney’s driving just after noon on June 25, 2021, when he began overtaking a stationary queue of traffic at Johnston Avenue.

One woman became aware of his Vauxhall Insignia travelling on the opposing side of the carriageway, in the direction of oncoming traffic, due to the noise the vehicle was making.

McAnearney collided with her, causing £1,500-worth of damage to the front and side of her car, as well as to the mirror.

Vehicles swerved out of his way

The woman phoned 999 and police officers on mobile patrol spotted him turning on to Keswick Terrace.

They signalled for him to stop but McAnearney showed no indication of complying.

Disqualified and uninsured at the time, McAnearney made his way on to Old Glamis Road, where he crossed the grass central reservation of the dual carriageway. Other road users had to swerve out of the way of his car to prevent a crash.

Throughout his journey, McAnearney travelled at 50mph along 30mph limit streets.

He then made his way on to Caird Park Golf Course, driving over greens and fairways as golfers played.

Car was abandoned

Fiscal depute Gavin Letford said the vehicle, still being pursued by police, struggled on the terrain.

Police eventually believed McAnearney was slowing down to stop and left their vehicle as he approached.

However, McAnearney failed to halt, instead completing a full lap of the course and then colliding with a tree before hitting the police vehicle and speeding off again.

“The police vehicle was extensively damaged,” Mr Letford said, explaining the vehicle had to be taken out of service.

McAnearney’s next move was heading down a service road, which was being used by pedestrians.

Walkers, including an elderly woman with a walking aid and another carrying a young child, had to leap out of the way.

At 1.30pm, officers found the vehicle abandoned.

Arrest warrant

A warrant was issued on July 7 and McAnearney was arrested two days later.

He admitted driving while disqualified and uninsured and failing to stop at the scene of a collision and at the instruction of police.

Former labourer McAnearney also pleaded guilty to driving dangerously and at excessive speed.

He admitted that at the golf course, he drove at excessive speed in the vicinity of golfers, collided with a police vehicle and then drove at excessive speed along a service road, causing pedestrians to take evasive action.

He was not the registered keeper of the car and had a passenger at the time, who Mr Letford said was filming the joyride.

The court heard he had twice been convicted of driving while intoxicated.

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