A man who went on a drunken joyride with a tipper truck has been banned from the roads for more than three years.
Matthew Hill, 41, told cops he stole the truck from a building site on Wellington Road, Cove, because it “belonged to an ex-employer I didn’t like”.
When cops eventually caught up with him, on Charleston Road North, he was breathalysed and found to be twice the drink-drive limit.
Hill was also disqualified from driving at the time following an incident in Inverness in 2012.
Today his defence solicitor told Aberdeen Sheriff Court that Hill was “going through something of a meltdown” at the time.
Witness heard loud ‘grinding noise’
Fiscal depute Victoria Kerr said the drama began at around midnight on May 27 this year.
She said: “A witness reported hearing a loud grinding noise in the road outside his address and when he looked out he saw that it was actually a truck in the road.
“A few moments later police arrived in the area and began to search for the driver and found him – he appeared heavily under the influence of alcohol.
“As he was being booked at the station he told police: ‘I’m at the stage in my life where I don’t care anymore'”.
Hill went on to tell officers: “And do you know why I did what I did? It was an ex-employer I didn’t like.”
He was charged with stealing the vehicle as well as driving it while drunk, and without a licence or insurance.
Hill also faced two charges in relation to driving a van without a licence and insurance on the A90 between Stonehaven and Laurencekirk in February 2021.
‘He accepts alcohol brought about downward slide’
His defence solicitor Graeme Murray told the court that Hill, from Forfar, had been “going through something of a meltdown” at the time he stole the truck.
He added: “He had been working away from home in the Aberdeen area.
“There had been tension within his marriage and unfortunately this led to Mr Hill drinking excessively – and because of the isolation, he turned to alcohol.
“He had spoken to his wife on the phone and she had made it clear that she didn’t want him back.
“He has been contrite and accepts that alcohol brought about this downward slide.”
‘You risked causing injuries and fatalities’
Sheriff Donald Ferguson told Hill that his actions were “so serious taken altogether” that he was on the “cusp of custody”.
He added: “To drive whilst disqualified is bad enough, but even worse are the events of May 27.
“Thankfully it looks like you weren’t very good at getting the truck going but you could have caused an absolutely horrendous accident with such a vehicle.
“You risked causing injuries and fatalities and that sort of behaviour has just got to be stopped.”
Sheriff Ferguson disqualified Hill, of Steadfast Lane, Forfar, from driving for 42 months, while making him subject to a nine-month community payback order and 200 hours of unpaid work in the community.