A dangerous driver has been jailed after “accelerating towards” a police officer who approached him at a red light, before driving away and hitting a car.
Scott Smith, or Findlay, veered into the adjacent lane and sped off, forcing the officer, who had been standing at the side of the car, to move out of the way to avoid being struck.
The 29-year-old went on to collide with another car in Aberdeen and then crash into railings at a crossing, narrowly missing a pedestrian.
And as officers approached the now undrivable vehicle, Findlay emerged from the sunroof screaming: “Come on then”.
Fiscal depute Andrew McMann told Aberdeen Sheriff Court: “The time of the offence was 11.10am on August 12 2021.
“Officers were on routine mobile patrol in an unmarked police vehicle when they observed the accused driving his vehicle on Virginia Street, where it was seen to accelerate harshly in excess of the speed limit before stopping at a red light in lane two.
“Officers then alighted from their vehicle and approached the driver’s side door.
‘Potential to cause real and significant harm to others’
“They identified themselves to the accused, after which he was seen to accelerate into lane one, causing an officer to move out of the way to avoid being struck.”
Mr McMann said the Crown accepted that the officer was at the side of Findlay’s car as opposed to in front of it.
Findlay drove off and was seen undertaking three vehicles, turning onto Regent Quay, going the wrong way down a one-way street and colliding with another car.
The fiscal depute added: “He continued to accelerate in an attempt to get away from the police, resulting in him colliding with railings at a pedestrian crossing, narrowly avoiding striking a member of the public.”
The crash caused “significant damage” to the railing and Findlay’s vehicle, which was “rendered undrivable”.
Mr McMann said: “At this stage, both officers attended at the driver’s side door.
“The accused exited through the sunroof of the vehicle while screaming ‘come on then’ and ‘let’s go’.”
Findlay was swiftly arrested and found to be disqualified.
‘Raft of previous convictions’
In a separate matter in November 2021, Findlay was found with 21.3g of cannabis, and threatened police when taken to Kittybrewster station.
Findlay, whose address was given in court papers as Ardgill Place, Foveran, for the driving matter, but Stoneyton Terrace, Bucksburn, in relation to the drugs matter, admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner.
He also admitted possession of cannabis and another charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner.
Defence agent Chris Maitland acknowledged that the offences were a “serious matter”, but argued the contents of a court-ordered social work report indicated an alternative to a prison sentence could be appropriate.
‘It’s simply good fortune that no one was seriously injured’
He added Findlay had been on a bail curfew since August 13 2021.
Sheriff Lesley Johnston pointed out Findlay had a “raft of previous convictions” including ones for similar offences.
She highlighted two previous dangerous driving convictions and six driving while disqualified ones.
The sheriff said she noted that Findlay had expressed “regret”, but concluded: “I consider, taking into account the circumstances together with your record, there’s no alternative in your case but to impose a custodial sentence.”
She added: “This happened around 11am on a weekday when members of the public were going about their business.
“This had the potential to cause real and significant harm to others.
“It’s simply good fortune that no one was seriously injured as a result of this incident.”
Sheriff Johnston ordered Findlay to be jailed for eight months and banned him from driving for three years.
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