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Forfar man crashed car after drinking nine cans of beer then tried to headbutt police

Dundee Sheriff Court.
Dundee Sheriff Court.

A Forfar man smashed into a lamppost on one of Dundee’s busiest roads after downing nine cans of beer.

Drunk James Baines then aimed a headbutt at attending police but missed completely, before he was arrested and put in the back of a police van.

Baines, of Restenneth Road, appeared from custody on Tuesday afternoon at Dundee Sheriff Court, following the crash which happened on Forfar Road the night before.

The 40-year-old had fallen out with his partner, the court heard, with Baines deciding to get behind the wheel of his silver Nissan Note in an attempt to drive home at around 10pm.

When he provided a breath specimen, Baines produced a reading of 107mics/22 – almost five times the limit.

The crash

Depute Fiscal Lee Carr told the court: “The accused is the owner and registered keeper of the silver Nissan Note.

“At about 10.25pm on April 4 the accused was driving north on Forfar Road.

“He approached William Fitzgerald Way but failed to correctly navigate the roundabout.

“This resulted in the vehicle leaving the carriageway on the nearside, where he struck a lamppost, north of the roundabout.

“A witness observe the incident and stopped to assist.

“The accused picked up an empty can of alcohol and gestured towards the witness, before saying ‘I’ve already done it, it’s been done’.

“Another witness contacted the police.

“There were several members of the pubic present.

“The accused was traced by police in the driver seat.

“He was slurring his words, his eyes were blurry and there was a stench of liquor coming from him.

“He told police he was driving ‘to try and kill himself’.”

‘Clouded judgement’

His solicitor David Sinclair later described this sentence as “symptomatic” of the depression he suffers.

The fiscal added: “There was extensive crumpling to the vehicle, the bumper was off.

“There was no damage to the post.

“As police escorted him to the waiting van, he suddenly turned to face PC Glen Burnett and then lunged in an attempt to headbutt him to his head.

“PC Burnett saw this happening and moved out the way, resulting in no contact being made.”

Mr Sinclair, in mitigation for Baines, said: “He had drunk nine cans of beer and decided to go home.

“The alcohol has clouded his judgement.

“He has lashed out at the officer – it is not something he is in the habit of doing.

“He has pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.”

The crown moved for forfeiture of the Nissan but this was denied by Sheriff Eric Brown.

Baines was fined £540 and disqualified from driving or obtaining a licence for 14 months and a further £110 for the attempted headbutt.

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