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Detention for Highland teenage driver who injured girls

By Court Reporter

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A teenager was sent to detention for nine months after admitting driving dangerously on a country road, overturning his car and seriously injuring two teenage girls.

It was the disqualified driver’s fourth drink-drive offence within a year and Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald told him: “You were fortunate that more serious injuries were not sustained.”

But she refused to allow the teenager, from the Inverness area, to be named. People under the age of 18 are granted anonymity unless a sheriff rules it is in the public interest to identify them.

Inverness Sheriff Court was told that he was on bail at the time of the incident for two similar charges.

He appeared for sentence after previously pleading guilty to the road traffic offences which included driving with excess alcohol.

The court was told he was more than twice the legal drink-drive limit when he was breathlaysed by police in hospital shortly after the crash outside Nairn, near Little Kildrummie, on December 10 last year.

However, he admitted a lesser reading of 31mcgs, still above the 22mcgs limit, provided two hours after the first test.

The injured girls, aged 17 and 14, suffered fractured vertebrae and ribs.

Defence solicitor advocate Shahid Latif said that his client was genuinely remorseful and wanted to apologise to the casualties.

He argued that detention was not an inevitable disposal due to his client’s age, lack of maturity and the prospects of rehabilitation.

Mr Latif added: “When he was seven, his grandfather, who was an important influential figure is his life, passed away. This led to the long fuse of disintegration and a descent into drugs and alcohol to deal with his anxiety.”

Fiscal depute David Morton told the court at an earlier hearing that the accused had driven from Inverness to Beauly and was on his way to Nairn when the incident occurred.

One of the driver’s passengers told police that their friend had been driving his 15-year-old Renault Laguna fast throughout the day, taking corners in a 60mph zone at 70mph or 80mph. The other casualty estimated his speed at the crash scene at 35-40mph.

The court heard that he also passed a jogger at speed.

But he lost control on a sharp bend near the B9091, crossed to the other side of the carriageway and careered through a fence. The vehicle went 20ft down an embankment before overturning in a field.

All three occupants were able to climb out and were assisted by the jogger.

Defence solicitor Rory Gowans previously submitted a letter written by his client to the court. It read that he was sorry, and that he had been stupid.

It went on: “It gave me a big scare. The car landed on its roof. I could have died.”

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