16-year-old driver in police chase avoids jail

Man jailed for cable theft
Man jailed for cable theft
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A 16-year-old who got behind the wheel of a Land Rover then led police on a chase after driving the wrong way up a one-way street has been banned from the road.

Ronan McInroy bought the Land Rover Discovery from a friend just three months after his 16th birthday, a court has heard.

He loaded it up with four friends before setting off on a drive round the streets of Cupar - telling mates who pointed out he was too young for a licence: “So what - I can drive good.”

A sheriff told him he “could have killed someone”.

But moments later he came across police - who turned on their lights and ordered him to stop.

McInroy instead turned into the Fife town’s Ashlar Lane, ignoring no entry signs and driving up it the wrong way.

Fiscal depute Kirsten Thomson told Dundee Sheriff Court: “He didn’t stop and turned right past a clearly defined no entry sign.

“Police were forced to follow the vehicle in order to stop the accused.

“They formed the opinion he had clearly seen them with their lights activated.

“The accused drove on to other streets where he pulled over and remained in the driver’s seat while police came to speak to him.

“He said he had bought the car for £250 from a friend.”

McInroy, of Roselea Gardens, Ladybank, to charges of failing to stop when required to do so by police, dangerous driving, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.

Lynsay Magro, defending, said: “He is to start an apprenticeship as a mechanic later this year and this case won’t affect that employment.

“He is fully aware that he could be imprisoned today and that prospect scares him.”

Sheriff Alistair Brown banned McInroy from the road for a year and imposed a community payback order with 100 hours unpaid work.

The sheriff also ordered the forfeiture of the car.

He said: “What you did was criminal and deliberate.

“You were driving badly, and you were driving when you were not competent to drive a vehicle.

“The reason we have rules requiring licences is because it is horribly easy to do very serious injury to someone - or kill them.

“It is not a game.”