A drugs mule who led police officers on a terrifying high speed chase through the streets of Aberdeen has been jailed for six months.
Peter Townsend’s Mazda Hatchback was packed with cocaine when he came to the attention of police on Saturday.
The drug addict was spooked by the sight of a patrol vehicle as he drove through Torry and tore off.
He reached 60mph on residential streets in an increasingly desperate effort to evade the pursuing officers and complete the delivery.
Sparks flew from a wheel as a worn tyre “disintegrated” as a police car with its siren blaring and lights flashing followed him.
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The 34-year-old appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court to admit charges of dangerous driving and being concerned in the supply of cocaine.
He claimed in court that the cuts and bruises he bore in the dock were as a result of being struck by a police vehicle after he came to a halt.
Fiscal Gavin Letford said Townsend had been transporting the Class A substance at the behest of dealers when he came to the attention of police in Torry.
Mr Letford said: “The accused pulled over on Wellington Road but upon seeing police officers nearby he accelerated and made off at speed.
“Police activated their blue lights but the accused continued to drive at speed across the Queen Elizabeth Bridge and then went south onto Riverside Drive.”
The fiscal added that Townsend reached 60mph as he overtook “several other vehicles” on that road and then turned into a street with a “no entry” sign at the junction between Riverside Drive and South Anderson Drive.
He said: “The accused then mounted the kerb as he headed towards the Bridge of Dee. After crossing that bridge, the front off-side tyre was seen to disintegrate.
“He then swerved from Great Southern Road onto West Tulloch Road.”
More police cars joined the pursuit at that stage, with the court told the accused “paid complete disregard to other road users” by crossing a roundabout in the wrong direction at a time when visibility was poor.
Townsend sped down Abbotswells Road, returned to Wellington Road and turned east on to Girdleness Road before continuing onto the Coast Road to Cove, where the fiscal said sparks were “seen to be coming from the exposed wheel”.
The pursuit then led on to Langdykes Road through a built-up residential area before the accused finally came to a stop at Souter Head.
Police later found that Townsend had eight bags of cocaine weighing a combined 15.5 grammes and a silver wrap with 19.3g inside.
Defence agent Liam McAllister claimed that his client was hit by the pursuing police car after leaving his own vehicle.
Mr McAllister said: “He opened the door and exited with his hands up and the police vehicle came barging into him and knocked him down.
“He has been injured as a result of this, but he is just glad he did not injure anyone else.”
The lawyer added: “My client had fallen into bad habits and those who provided him with substances pressured to drive a quantity of drugs to another location.
“His adrenaline kicked in when he saw the police car and he made a catastrophic decision.”
Sheriff Marion McDonald jailed Townsend, of Well Brae in Portlethen, for six months and banned him from driving for three years.