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Fife woman claims she has no memory of driving at 102mph due to ‘dissociative episodes’

Holli-Ann Thornby-Cook
Holli-Ann Thornby-Cook.

A woman caught at more than 100mph in a high-powered Subaru in Fife “has no recollection” of driving at excessive speed.

A lawyer for Holli-Ann Thornby-Cook said her client may have been suffering “dissociative episodes” at the time of the offence.

The 23-year-old was caught by a speed camera van as she drove along the A92 between Lochgelly and Cowdenbeath.

In a separate episode she called police claiming her car was being followed by two men, before driving to Dunfermline police station.

On both occasions she was found to be driving without insurance.

Speeding offence

Fiscal depute Zahra Bhatti told Dunfermline Sheriff Court the speeding offence had taken place in mid-morning.

She said: “On March 28, there was a safety camera partnership vehicle parked in the lay-by at the locus.

“At 11.20am the accused’s vehicle, which was a black Subaru, was recorded at 102mph in the 70mph limit.

“The day was light and the road was clear.”

She said the footage clearly showed a lone female in the driver’s seat and subsequent computer checks revealed Thornby-Cook had no insurance.

Insurance breach

Ms Bhatti said a further insurance offence had taken place several months later, on August 8.

“At 2.03pm the accused contacted the police to report she was being followed by two males.

“She stated to the call handler she was in a black Subaru.

“At 2.10pm police were on patrol in the area and attended to look for both vehicles.

“They were looking for the accused’s vehicle in relation to her driving without insurance.

“At 2.15pm the accused arrived at Dunfermline police station.”

Ms Bhatti said Thornby-Cook had been unable to produce insurance documents when requested by officers.

Health issues

Solicitor Aime Allan, defending, said Thornby-Cook had a number of health issues which were affecting her at the time.

She said: “She has no recollection of these offences but accepts they took place.

“Her therapist believes she had dissociative episodes at the time of the offences.

“She’s embarrassed to be before the court in these circumstances and understands these are serious matters.”

Thornby-Cook, who appeared in the dock with a medical support dog, admitted speeding and two charges of driving without insurance.

Sheriff Eric Brown said : “It’s alarming that someone having these episodes while driving at 100mph down a public road.”

He banned Thornby-Cook, of Dunfermline’s Holyrood Place, from the roads for 12 months and fined her £400.

What is a dissociative disorder?

According to the NHS, dissociative disorders can result in sufferers feeling disconnected from the world around, forgetting about time periods, events and personal information, or having multiple personalities, among other symptoms.

Their causes are unclear but are believed to be stress-related.

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