A joyrider led police on a “terrifying” high speed chase through Dundee in a stolen two-tonne truck until he was rammed off the road and overpowered with incapacitant spray.
Unqualified and banned driver Alan Phillips, 22, raced around the city for more than 30 minutes and was driving so fast police had to stop pursuing him because it was too dangerous.
He drove on the wrong side of the road, careered the wrong way around several roundabouts, ran red lights, hit a car and narrowly missed a bus during the late night rampage around 37 streets.
The episode was only brought to an end when police forced the stolen Isuzu D-Max pick-up truck off the road and smashed the window before taking out Phillips with Pava spray.
‘No regard for any other human being’
Sheriff Richard MacFarlane jailed Phillips for two years at Dundee Sheriff Court and disqualified him from driving for four and a half years.
He said: “You have never sat a test of competency to drive. At the age of 22 you have a very significant record for unlawful driving on our public roads.
“You embarked on unlawful driving in a substantial vehicle which wasn’t yours, you were disqualified, and then you go on a journey which can only be described as terrifying.
“The word dangerous which is associated with the driving charge is an understatement. You compromised the safety of your passenger and all other road users.
“You don’t seem to have any regard for any other human being and that might include yourself. A motor vehicle used like this can be like a weapon.
“Fortuitously, and thanks to police intervention, no-one was killed. You made it a very difficult task and were putting their safety at risk.”
Chase through Dundee
Phillips, from Carnoustie, admitted driving dangerously in 37 streets around Dundee on January 11.
The chase took them through Charleston, along the Kingsway, through Lochee, Hawkhill and Dock Street, before returning to the north of the city and ending at Templeton Woods.
He admitted refusing to give a blood sample when it was suspected he was driving under the influence.
He also admitted driving while disqualified, driving a stolen vehicle, failing to stop for police and having no insurance.
Fiscal depute Lora Apostolova told the court Phillips had never held a licence and was disqualified in June last year for the latest of his previous dangerous driving offences.
Police forced to back off
She said Phillips’ girlfriend was a passenger in the stolen Isuzu D-Max and the vehicle was approached by officers who spotted it parked with the engine running at 10.55 pm.
As they moved alongside, the Isuzu reversed and sped away.
Several times during the chase the police backed off because of the danger being posed as Phillips repeatedly drove into oncoming traffic.
He ignored red lights and went the wrong way around three roundabouts, crossed a central reservation and narrowly missed colliding head-on into a bus.
Ms Apostolova said: “The bus had to take evasive action to prevent a collision.
“The accused turned left at the V&A and went against the flow of the one way system.
City centre collision
“He overtook another vehicle at 50 miles per hour and for the third time the police aborted their pursuit.
“Officers saw a car braking after colliding with the pick-up.
“The pick-up was then seen driving head-on towards the police car. It made no attempt to pass.
“The police officer carried out a tactical contact and pushed it further into the verge to immobilise it.
“The accused continued to make attempts to move from the verge. They shouted at him to stop and surrender but the officers had to smash the window.
“He tried to accelerate and escape the police, so they used Pava spray in his face which seemed to be successful.
“He was handcuffed and by this time it was 11.30 pm.”
Little to say in mitigation
Phillips told police “I don’t want to” when he was asked to give a specimen.
Solicitor Paul Parker-Smith, defending, said: “There is very little I can say to mitigate what was clearly an intentional piece of driving.
“For the most part the streets were deserted, although there was the encounter with the bus and a collision with another vehicle.
“The only person who was actually hurt was Mr Phillips as he was the victim of having incapacitant spray applied by police. He has himself to blame for that.”