A DRUNK learner driver, pursued by the police on the M90 near Rosyth, jumped into the back seat when the car was travelling at 40mph.

Colin Gillies had been on a drunken joy-ride across Fife, swerving across roads before the police chase on the motorway.

He then bizarrely got into the back seat as the car continued on its way, driverless.

His friend in the passenger seat had to lean over and grab the steering wheel as the car veered off the road and ended up on a grass verge.

Gillies, 19, of Katrine Crescent, Kirkcaldy, appeared in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

He admitted that on July 10 on the M90 near Rosyth he drove a car as a holder of a provisional licence without being accompanied by a qualified driver or displaying ‘L’ plates and that he drove without insurance.

He also drove the car dangerously, in excess of the speed limit, swerved between lanes and entered the back seat whilst the vehicle was in motion, leaving the vehicle to continue without a driver.

He further admitted that he drove after consuming excess alcohol. His reading was 44 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the legal limit is 22 microgrammes.

Depute fiscal Amy Robertson said that at 7am Gillies’ former employer started receiving videos from him. He went on to send about 20 videos, each lasting around 10 seconds long, of him driving about in Fife.

One was on Kirkcaldy Esplanade and the speedometer was showing 80mph.

Another showed him heading towards the Queensferry Crossing and the woman could see he was weaving about the road.

She was aware Gillies did not have a full driving licence and contacted the police.

When officers found his car on the M90 northbound carriageway it was hitting speeds of 90 to 100 mph.

The depute went on: “He was swerving violently between lanes and police activated their blue lights.

“He continued to drive, still swerving about the road, then smoke started to come from a front wheel and the car slowed to about 40mph.”

Officers then saw Gillies jump from the driver’s seat into the back when the car was still moving.

“The vehicle was out of control without anyone driving it and veered towards the central reservation,” added the depute.

The front-seat passenger leaned over and took hold of the steering wheel and the car was brought to a stop on the grass verge.

Defence solicitor Calum Harris said: “He’d been with his friend the night before and they had stopped drinking at around 11pm.

"They sat up, not doing much then Mr Gillies decided to go for a drive.

“His only explanation was he wasn’t thinking clearly at that time. From around February things went off the rails for him and alcohol consumption became a problem.

“He’s appalled by his actions.”

Sheriff Robert More asked: “Why on earth was he driving in that manner on a motorway?”

Mr Harris said: “He thinks he was just being an idiot. I’ve asked why he would jump into the rear but he doesn’t have any real explanation.

“It was extremely dangerous and this whole experience has been a sobering one for him.”

Sheriff More told Gillies he could have killed his passenger or anyone else on the road that day and he would now be looking at more than five years in jail at the High Court.

He added: “Many would say there is very little morally to distinguish that case from yours.”

The sheriff banned Gillies from driving for 16 months and until he passes the extended test.

He also imposed a community payback order with nine months of supervision and 40 hours of unpaid work.