Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Driver with ‘lifetime ban’ stole cars to travel to the Highlands

Andrew Ridsdale stole cars and took them for a jaunt around the Highlands
Andrew Ridsdale stole cars and took them for a jaunt around the Highlands

A man with a lifetime driving ban helped himself to vehicles to travel around the Highlands following a row with his girlfriend.

Andrew Ridsdale,  48, first targeted a vehicle parked outside the home of a good Samaritan in Lochaline on the west coast.

He was returning an empty flask they had used to make him tea after hearing he was sleeping rough.

He drove that vehicle as far as Drumnadrochit, by Loch Ness, where he abandoned it in a restaurant car park.

Two days later he targeted a woman’s home in Tongue while she was in bed, taking her handbag containing car keys from a worktop and then making off with her van, which was later found in a supermarket car park in Thurso.

Ridsdale appeared by videolink from custody at Tain Sheriff Court to plead guilty to one charge of stealing a vehicle, one of taking a vehicle without consent and one of theft of the handbag and contents.

He also admitted driving whilst disqualified, otherwise than in accordance with a licence and without insurance.

Fiscal depute Pauline Gair told the court that on October 14 the first vehicle “was outside a property unlocked with the key in the glove box”.

She said: “The accused had been seen in the area earlier and a local had made him a flask of tea because he had indicated he was going to be sleeping in an unmanned launderette.

Flask returned and car taken

“At 6am the empty flask was returned to the person who made the tea, when he looked outside at 7am the vehicle had gone. It was found later outside a restaurant in Drumnadrochit.”

Describing the circumstances of the vehicle theft in Tongue on October 16, Mrs Gair continued: “The accused had worked his way north and was seen by locals looking for a bed and breakfast.

“One lady had gone to bed leaving her light on and her front and back doors unlocked and her handbag on the kitchen worktop.

“She heard a noise. When she went downstairs her handbag wasn’t on the worktop and her Volkswagen Caddy van was gone.

“It was later found outside a supermarket in Thurso, having been driven there by the accused.”

The court hear that Ridsdale, of  Brentwood Gardens, Bradford, was subject to a lifetime driving ban and therefore not covered by insurance.

Solicitor Rory Gowans, for Ridsdale,  told the court that his client had fallen on hard times after coming to Scotland on a whim following an argument with his girlfriend.

Mr Gowans told the court: “He had fallen out with his partner and seems to have headed north with no particular plan or where or what he was going to do.

Car thief ‘ran out of money’

“He ran out of money. That seems to have been the precursor to him deciding to use other mean of getting around Scotland,” said Mr Gowans, adding: “He had no money and was moving around by using and taking other people’s property.”

The court heard that former Premier League football club steward Ridsdale, who now runs an online business with his partner, had returned to England after making up with her.

He had then been contacted by police in relation to the thefts and had returned voluntarily to face the consequences.

Sheriff Gary Aitken told Ridsdale his “brazen repeated offences” had attracted an “inevitable custodial sentence” and that the maximum sentences were merited – albeit with credit for his guilty plea.

He said: “Goodness only knows what was going through your mind. Someone with your record should never, ever, ever get behind the wheel of a vehicle under any circumstances.”

He sentenced Ridsdale to a total of nine months imprisonment and twice re-imposed his lifetime driving ban.

Already a subscriber? Sign in