A VEHICLE recovery worker involved in an early hours police chase around the centre of Dunfermline narrowly avoided a jail sentence this week.
Cairen Boyle, 23, appeared for sentencing at Dunfermline Sheriff Court on Wednesday after earlier admitting failing to stop for police on Bruce Street, Bridge Street and Chalmers Street on March 27 last year.
He also drove dangerously and at excessive speed for the road conditions, drove the wrong way down a road, caused other motorists to take evasive action and mounted a pavement to avoid a collision, overtook a car which was stationary at a red light and drove through a junction when it was not safe to do so.
Depute fiscal Claire Bremner said at around five past four in the morning, police officers on mobile patrol were in the Dunfermline area waiting at traffic lights at the junction of Bruce Street and Carnegie Drive.
They saw a Vauxhall Corsa approach the junction at speed before braking harshly and coming to a stop across the line.
Putting their blue lights on, they pulled up in front of the car in order to speak to the driver.
"Before they could get out of their vehicle, the driver quickly accelerated," Ms Bremner told the court.
"He moved past the police vehicle and failed to stop and the vehicle then continued into Bruce Street driving the wrong way and at speed."
The police officers activated their sirens and followed Boyle along Bruce Street. He then drove right onto Bridge Street, causing another driver to mount the pavement to avoid him, before accelerating at speed into Chalmers Street.
As it was Easter weekend, the town centre was still busy and people were walking along the street between premises.
In Chalmers Street, Boyle overtook a taxi waiting at a red light and went onto Golfdrum Street when police officers lost sight of him.
Defence solicitor John McGeechan said his client realised his driving was a risk to people in the area. "He is quite a young lad with a degree of immaturity but accepts it was really stupid behaviour," he added.
Sheriff Charles Macnair told Boyle, of Kirk View, Cumbernauld, that if he had not pleaded guilty, he would have been going to prison.
"This was driving through narrow streets of Dunfermline when there were still people up and about causing someone to mount a kerb," he said. "It is only by the greatest of good fortune that nobody was on that kerb.
"You went the wrong way down a very narrow one way street, you went through a red light and went through residential areas and I have no idea what you did when you got into Golfdrum Street.
"It is not surprising that the police could not keep up with you in that they could not have driven dangerously in that manner."
Sheriff Macnair sentenced Boyle to a restriction of liberty order for 135 days, banned him from driving for 20 months and ordered him to do 300 hours of unpaid work to be carried out within six months.