A man who stole a brand new £40,000 Jaguar from an Inverness garage to get home to Birmingham has been jailed for eight months.
Before Naveed Nawaz, 26, drove away the luxury vehicle from the forecourt of Park’s of Hamilton’s showroom on Harbour Road on October 8, he had twice crashed his own car further north.
At Inverness Sheriff Court, Sheriff Ian Cruickshank described first offender Nawaz as having committed “an astounding and incredible course of criminal conduct in a matter of days”.
He added: “It seems an inept attempt to take a £40,000 car to get home to Birmingham. And he has no explanation for why he was in Sutherland and Caithness, was he trying to do the North Coast 500?”
The court was told that the luxury car had been left running in the garage forecourt to update its navigation system. Nawaz leapt in and drove it off. He was caught by police a short time later near the Moy wind farm.
Defence solicitor Neil Wilson said Nawaz was then released on an undertaking to appear at Inverness at a later date, and got on a train to try to get home – but he saw police, “panicked and ran away”.
The court heard officers found him hiding in a carriage. He was released again.
Mr Wilson added: “He failed to turn up twice at Inverness in November to answer the undertaking, a warrant was issued and he was arrested in Glasgow on December 7.”
Nawaz admitted theft of the Jaguar, failing to identify the driver to police when he was intercepted at Moy and driving the unregistered marque without insurance.
He also admitted two charges of careless driving, failing to identify the driver of the vehicle involved in the collisions and trespassing onto a railway line near Inverness on October 9.
Fiscal depute Roderick Urquhart told the court that on October 2, Nawaz drove at 90pmph on a single track road near Colaball Farm, Lairg, lost control of his car and ended up in a ditch after driving.
Three days later, in the small rural hamlet of Haster on October 5, Nawaz drove at excessive speed, causing him to lose control coming out of a bend. He crashed into the conservatory of a house there.
Sheriff Cruickshank backdated the custodial sentence to December 8, and also banned him from driving for 16 months.