Tayside and Central Scotland

Man led police on 120mph chase before crashing into wall

Mark Harris Image copyright PPA
Image caption Mark Harris claimed he swerved to avoid a deer on the road

A property developer who led police on a 120mph car chase before crashing into a garden has been banned from driving.

Mark Harris was pursued by trained traffic officers on his way home from a pub before hitting a wall in Longforgan.

At Perth Sheriff Court Harris was found guilty of dangerous driving and failing to stop for police.

He was cleared of failing to give a blood specimen for alcohol due to a phobia of needles.

Sheriff William Wood banned Harris from driving on an interim basis and deferred sentence until next month.

The incident took place in December 2013.

Harris claimed during a week-long trial that he lost control because he swerved to avoid hitting a deer on the road.

Smashed into wall

He told the trial: "I would say the manner of the driving was not dangerous, but I would accept the speed I was doing was careless. I had been drinking."

"I was doing in excess of 90 miles per hour.

"I was fairly comfortable with my speed and capability for driving. I didn't see a problem."

Harris said he had pulled off the A90 into the village of Longforgan but denied driving at double the 30mph limit when he lost control and smashed into a wall.

Depute fiscal Bill Kermode told the court: "He did not slow down or pull in.

"It would have been absolutely clear to him the police were solely interested in his vehicle.

"It was only brought to a halt by a collision which disabled his vehicle."

Sheriff William Wood said: "He sought to outrun the police by his speed. I found his account of a deer in the road to be incredible.

"I have no reason to doubt the police officers' evidence about speed.

"When travelling at 120mph they didn't seem to be gaining.

"I reject Mr Harris's self-serving evidence."

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