A joiner who was followed by police at speeds over 105mph on a Highland road narrowly avoided jail yesterday but was fined £2,500 and banned from driving for five years.
John Shearer, a 29-year-old father of two, admitted driving dangerously on the A96 at Gollanfield between Inverness and Nairn just after midnight on December 7.
Inverness Sheriff Court heard he had originally been charged with driving his Astra Diesel Sport 1.9 hatchback at 120mph in the 60mph zone, but fiscal depute Ross Carvel accepted a guilty plea to a charge of driving at a speed exceeding 105mph.
The court was told that the road, which has a number of junctions for farm and residential access was wet when a police patrol doing speed checks recorded Shearer passing them at 87mph.
Mr Carvel said they followed the hatchback and noted it accelerated to over 105mph before they stopped Shearer. Defence solicitor Robert Sheridan admitted that his client had an appalling record for road traffic offences, but on this occasion, his client was concerned about his recently born child.
He told Sheriff David Sutherland: “He was working in Inverness at the time and returning to his digs in Nairn. He had two misses calls from his partner and mother of their two children, one of which was recently born.
“He tried to phone her and she said something about the youngest child before the battery on his phone went dead.
“He was worried and speeded up to get to his accommodation as soon as possible to get his phone charged up again to be able to contact his fiancee and find out what was going on.”
Sheriff David Sutherland told Shearer, of Bridge Street, Fauldhouse, Bathgate: “Your record is frankly appalling and with some hesitation I will not send you to jail today.
“The court is aware of the dangers that exist on this road and the fine will reflect the seriousness of the offence.
“But if you fail to pay one instalment, the alternative of prison will apply.”