A DAY at the races resulted in a high-speed police chase through Oakley and a three-year driving ban for one driver last week.

Darren Whitfield, formerly of South Pilmuir Road, Clackmannan, appeared in the dock at Alloa Sheriff Court on February 13 to face sentencing for two separate matters.

The court heard from prosecutor Ann Orr that on August 13, 2017, the 35-year-old had been with friends at Knockhill Racing Centre.

He asked one of them for the keys to their blue Audi RS5, on the pretence that he wanted to get cigarettes from the car.

But instead of retrieving them, Whitfield drove off in the vehicle.

Soon after, police clocked the car travelling down the A907 at Gartarry Roundabout, and attempted to catch up with it on suspicion that it was linked to a disqualified driver.

Ms Orr said: "As they approached, they activated the blue lights; however, it went off at speed driving towards Oakley.

"Police initially pursued; however, due to the extreme speeds, with the vehicle overtaking on corners, crossing double-white lines and swerving into the way of oncoming vehicles, it was deemed unsafe."

Police abandoned the pursuit and it was only after subsequent investigations that Whitfield was apprehended and charged.

He subsequently pleaded guilty to charges of driving a vehicle dangerously, without authority and without insurance.

As well as that matter, Whitfield also faced sentencing for an incident that took place in Alloa a few months earlier.

Late on April 1, 2017, he went into a shop and asked if he could buy scratch cards.

However, the proprietor refused because he was closing for the day.

In response, Whitfield called him a "P***" and then said people in the shop were "a bunch of Bin Laden-loving b******s".

He had previously been on a community payback order in relation to that offence of abusive behaviour but breached the order.

In court last Thursday, solicitor Robert Smith said his client committed the racial offence due to being "full of the drink".

And in relation to the road traffic matters, he said Whitfield made the decision to drive the car and "panicked" when police tried to stop him. He said the matters had taken so long to be dealt with because he'd been "burying his head in the sand". Whitfield then moved to Blackpool and failed to attend court.

Sheriff Craig Harris said: "While I do recognise these are offences from 2017, I also recognise the fact that the court is only dealing with these offences now because you failed to turn up to court."

He then sentenced Whitfield to 12 months of supervision and 175 hours of unpaid work. The disposal will be transferred to the relevant authorities in Blackpool, as Whitfield no longer resides in Clackmannanshire.

Sheriff Harris also banned him from getting behind the wheel for a three year period.