Tayside and Central Scotland

Police chase man 'threatened Royal Family'

Perth Sheriff Court
Image caption Perth Sheriff Court heard Gary Bell led police on a 15-mile chase

A man brandished a golf club at police and made threats against the Royal Family after leading officers on a high-speed chase, a court heard.

Gary Bell, 41, drove through several villages at more than twice the speed limit before brandishing the club as police apprehended him.

Bell, from Auchtermuchty, had sentence deferred for reports and was banned from driving on an interim basis.

A sheriff rejected Bell's claim that he was insane at the time of the incident.

Perth Sheriff Court was told that after being overpowered by officers following the 15-mile pursuit, Bell complained of chest pains and was taken to hospital.

PC Kevin Miller told the court: "He was making a host of irrational statements.

"There were threats against members of the Royal Family."

The officer and his colleague had initially set up a speed trap, when they spotted Bell racing past.

'Evasive action'

PC Miller said: "He clearly failed to stop. We were exceeding the speed limit and were struggling to catch up.

"He was driving far too fast for the conditions. He was bullying his way through the traffic.

"He was causing other vehicles to take evasive action.

"If there had been other vehicles it would have been a head-on collision."

After Bell stopped his car outside his house, the officer leaned into the vehicle to remove the keys from the ignition.

PC Miller said: "He leaned into the passenger footwell and reached for a short golf club. It has a shortened shaft.

"It is my opinion it has been adapted as a weapon. I can't see any other reason you would do that to a golf club.

"I leaned inside the car and started to struggle with him to prevent him using the club as a weapon."

Bell was found guilty of driving dangerously on various roads on 11 August last year and failing to stop for police officers.

Sheriff Richard MacFarlane also found him guilty of resisting arrest, brandishing a golf club at officers and possessing an offensive weapon.

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