Tayside and Central Scotland

Man led police on 30-mile chase in stolen bin lorry

A man who went on the rampage in a stolen bin lorry, trying to ram police cars and crashing into a bridge, has been jailed for four months.

David Russell led officers on a 30-mile chase after stealing the vehicle from a Stirling Council compound.

The 25-year-old admitted what a sheriff called "an extraordinary sequence of dangerous driving" on 7 June.

Russell was jailed and also banned from driving for 16 months at Stirling Sheriff Court.

Russell, of Bannockburn, was on bail for assaulting his wife when he stole the refuse collection truck from the council depot in Fallin.

The vehicle had been left with the keys in the ignition, and police were alerted at about 02:00 when a motorist saw the lorry being driven erratically through the centre of Stirling, hitting several vehicles parked in a lay-by.

Evasive action

Russell drove out of the city onto the A811, swerving across the road, crashing into hedges and ignoring the police car with flashing blue lights which was tailing him.

Prosecutor Ann Orr said: "He narrowly avoided going completely off the road. On one occasion he went into a ditch causing the truck to tilt to such a degree that officers through it was going to tip over."

Russell pulled over twice before taking off again, and on the second occasion reversed the bin lorry sharply towards the following police cars, causing them to take evasive action.

One officer managed to smash the driver's side window with his baton but was unable to get into the cab, and the chase continued at speeds of between 10 and 40mph.

Russell drove through through Arnprior and Buchlyvie before turning onto the A875 towards Balfron where he took a bend on the wrong side of the road, forcing a taxi driver to swerve to avoid a head-on crash.

Officers called in support from the Glasgow Road Policing Unit who set out equipped with stingers and stop sticks aimed at halting the runaway lorry.

'Extraordinary sequence'

The court heard Russell drove through Killearn and turned off on to a narrow single track road before attempting to rejoin the A81 when he hit a bridge barrier and punctured his rear tyre.

He continued to drive before eventually being caught by the police.

In addition to dangerous driving, Russell admitted driving without an adequate license or insurance.

He also admitted an earlier assault on his wife, and was submitted for a psychiatric evaluation before sentencing.

His solicitor told the court that Russell told police he "wasn't thinking straight" when he took the lorry and "could remember bits of what he was doing".

Sheriff William Gilchrist said it was clear the 25-year-old had "a host of problems and difficulties that need to be addressed".

He added: "The incident on June 7 not only involved the theft of a motor vehicle but also an extraordinary sequence of dangerous driving that could have caused a serious accident or injury to others."

He jailed Russell for four months and imposed an 18 month community payback order on his release. He also banned him from driving for 16 months.

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