An armed teen who raced through Union Square on a motorbike has been ordered to carry out 190 hours of unpaid work.
Tyler Houston, 19, sped through the shopping centre earlier this year after security staff were alerted from CCTV footage.
The teen was seen tearing through the main mall at around 8pm on an unregistered electric motorcycle, swerving past shoppers as he made his way from one end of the shops to the other.
Fiscal depute Seam Ambrose told Aberdeen Sheriff Court the incident happened on February 28 and when police eventually caught up with Houston on Guild Street he was carrying a 10-inch kitchen knife and stated: “It was me”.
“He was careering in and out of pedestrians at speed,” Mr Ambrose said. “Looping to the east wall, before leaving by the exit to Aberdeen Railway Station and driving through the civic square area.”
Reversed into police van
Outlining a second incident of dangerous driving, the fiscal told the court that Houston was seen driving erratically at the site of the old Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on November 24 last year.
At around 3pm, a police officer parked his van at Exhibition Avenue in order to exercise his police dogs.
“He noticed a car driving erratically and saw it collide with a barrier,” Mr Ambrose said.
“He manoeuvred his police van to the rear and asked for the car to stop. However, the driver sped forward.”
A pursuit ensued, the court heard, and the officer called for backup and followed the car from the Park and Ride to Claymore Drive, where Houston came to a stop.
Mr Ambrose said: “[Houston] began repeatedly reversing at speed, striking the bumper of the police van and thus deploying the airbag. As a result of this, the police van was immobilised.”
Houston continued to drive but became stuck and exited the car and fled up Ellon Road.
An online search of the white Ford Kuga found an insurance policy in place for the car, but Houston was not one of the named drivers.
‘He was showing bravado to his friends’
Houston’s defence agent Tony Burgess said his client was young and naïve and had not realised the electric motorbike required a driving licence.
He told the court that Houston had also assumed he had been on the insurance policy for the car, adding: “He had just bought the car and was just doing what young lads do – driving at the Park and Ride had reduced the risk to the public.
“He panicked when he saw the police van. He was showing bravado to his friends.
“Lessons have been learned.”
He no longer owns the vehicles, Mr Burgess added.
On passing sentence, Sheriff Margaret Hodge said she had considered what had been said on Houston’s behalf and ordered him to carry out 190 hours of unpaid work – to be completed within one year – and disqualified him from driving for 15 months.