Police spotted banned Angus driver behind the wheel twice in two days

© DC ThomsonForfar Sheriff Court.
Forfar Sheriff Court.

A banned Angus driver spotted behind the wheel on consecutive days has been hit with a hefty sentencing package after narrowly dodging a spell behind bars.

Barry Nixon was ordered to carry out the maximum number of unpaid work hours the court can impose and pay a four-figure fine.

The sheriff also dished out a further disqualification for what was branded a “flagrant disregard” of a court order.

Offshore worker Nixon, of the Granary, Craigo, by Montrose, appeared before Sheriff Derek Reekie at Forfar Sheriff Court where he pled guilty to charges of driving while disqualified, and without insurance, in and around Montrose on July 4 and 5 last year.

Depute fiscal Jill Drummond said local officers in a police van had been responding to a vulnerable person alarm call when they saw the accused driving a silver Ford Transit just before 11am on July 4 and believed him to be a banned driver.

Because of the nature of the incident they were responding to they were not able to stop 36-year-old Nixon, but they went back later to a nearby Scotmid store and obtained CCTV footage which showed the accused parking at the shop and then returning to the van before driving off.

“Around 11.40 on July 5 officers were again on patrol and the same van passed them going in the opposite direction. They stopped it going into the village of Hillside and a PNC check confirmed the accused was disqualified and not insured to drive the vehicle,” the fiscal added.

The court heard Nixon was banned for 24 months in October 2016 for failing to provide a sample after being suspected to drink-driving.

Defence solicitor Nick Markowski said: “He would apologise to the court for his crass stupidity, as he himself described these incidents.”

He said Nixon, who earns around £3,000 a month, had been setting up a commercial drone business for his time onshore and had been let down by his driver.

“He went to the job and was seen by the police, and then went back to it the following day when he was seen again.

“He is well aware the court will take a serious view and the issue is whether there is an alternative to the loss of his liberty.”

Sheriff Reekie told Nixon: “What’s before me is a deliberate decision to drive and take the chances you did in a local area, where you accept the chances of you being caught must have been fairly high.

“Driving whilst disqualified is a flagrant disregard of a court order. There is a custodial option, but in view of the particular circumstances and the pro-social lifestyle you lead otherwise, I am just persuaded there is an alternative.”

Nixon was ordered to carry out 300 hours unpaid work in respect of the disqualified driving offences, fined £1,200 for the two insurance charges and banned from the road for 18 months.