The wheels of justice have finally caught up with a banned driver – seven years after passing police head-on as he went the wrong way up the A90 in Angus.
Stunned officers encountered drunken Kaspars Jansons in his van on the dual carriageway north of Brechin when he came down a slip road towards them in the wrong direction.
The builder eventually crashed into the central reservation but despite being hauled before the courts he returned to his native Latvia without being sentenced.
After returning to the UK last year, the 45-year-old found the law back in pursuit and he narrowly dodged a prison sentence on a day of reckoning at Forfar Sheriff Court.
Jansons had been living at a farmhouse near Laurencekirk when the incident happened on May 25, 2013 on the Dundee to Aberdeen trunk road near Northwaterbridge.
The court heard police had been on patrol just after 10pm on a Saturday night and saw him driving the wrong direction down the slip road towards them.
He mounted the grass verge, narrowly avoiding the police vehicle, before heading south along the northbound dual carriageway forcing other drivers to swerve to avoid him.
Police followed him before the van then mounted the central reservation and came to an abrupt halt.
Jansons struggled to keep his balance and was slurring his speech. Checks revealed he was a banned driver but he refused to provide specimens of breath after being taken to Arbroath police station.
The case originally called at Arbroath Sheriff Court in May 2014.
Defence solicitor Nick Whelan said: “This is clearly of some vintage. He went back to Latvia for a period and returned to the UK in 2019.
“Since then there hasn’t been any other offending and he has not driven since 2013.”
Jansons, now of Runcorn in Cheshire, had admitted driving dangerously, while disqualified and without insurance, and failing to provide a sample of breath when he originally appeared in court.
Sheriff Derek Reekie told him: “As far as driving offences are concerned, this is about as serious as it can get without causing injury or death. You are extremely fortunate that there was no accident or injury.
“I am in no doubt that custody has to be at the forefront of my mind.
“I see from the social work report this was a wake-up call that you were drinking too much and since you have been brought back to court on your return to this country you have co-operated fully.”
Jansons was banned from driving for 50 months, ordered to carry out 250 hours unpaid work and fined £500.