Bognor Regis driver crashed car into Borders house at at 75mph

A motorist caused chaos by overtaking a line of cars at a speed of up to 75mph before losing control and crashing into a house and a gas mains while driving a vehicle with a space-saver tyre fitted, Jedburgh Sheriff Court has been told.

Joao Monteiro, who was uninsured and had no licence, had just bought the Subaru Impreza knowing it had a temporary wheel which was only capable of speeds up to 50mph and should only be used for short distances.

The 23-year-old call centre worker was driving the car from Hawick in the Borders to Bathgate in West Lothian when it swerved off the road after his overtaking manoeuvre on the A7 road at Lindean.

An elderly man walking his dog was injured while leaping to safety, houses had to be evacuated over fears of a gas leak and the A7 road was closed for several hours while engineers carried out repairs.

Monteiro, of Bognor Regis in West Sussex, was branded irresponsible as he was banned from the road for two years and fined £800 after admitting a charge of dangerous driving on Wednesday, March 2.

The court was told the Subaru careered off the road, smashed through two fences, narrowly avoided a 70-year-old dog walker, struck the side of a cottage and hit a gas mains before coming to rest beside a tree.

Depute fiscal Tessa Bradley explained: “The locus was the Selkirk to Galashiels road at Lindean. The road was reasonably straight and the conditions good.

“It was daylight and the traffic was moderate.

Witness Kyle Craughwell was in the front passenger seat of the car driven by the accused. The accused’s girlfriend was driving another car in front, and there was an Audi car in front of her.

“The accused went onto the opposite carriageway and overtook the two cars in front of him, but as it passed the Audi, it lost control.

“The Subaru came back onto the northbound lane before it went through a fence and across a footpath at which point a Mr Cornwall, a 70-year-old gentleman, was walking his dog.

“He managed to dive to one side to avoid being hit. The Subaru went through another fence and into the garden of Lindean Smithy House and there was a slight blow to the building. It hit another fence and a mains gas meter before coming to rest beside a tree.

“The people in the area were aware of the potential of a mains gas leak.

“The cottages all had to be evacuated due to the gas leak and the road was closed and cordoned off. Gas engineers had to make safe the gas leak.

“The accused and Mr Craughwell sustained cuts to their head.

“The accused provided a breath test which was negative for alcohol.”

Defence lawyer Ed Hulme explained that Monteiro and his partner were travelling to her parents’ home in Bathgate, having just bought the car in Hawick for £2,500.

Monteiro is said to work as an administrative assistant in a call centre, earning £300 a week.

He had failed to appear in court and a warrant was issued for his arrest, but he then handed himself in to police.

Sheriff Kevin Drummond told him: “Taking into account the condition of this vehicle, which you knew about, the speed at which it was driven, the location you were entering, the danger to the public and the consequences in hitting a house and severing a gas connection, it shows a high degree of irresponsibility.

“This is bearing in mind you had no licence or insurance.”

Monteiro will need to sit an advanced driving test to re gain a licence after his two-year disqualification period is up. He was admonished on the charge of failing to appear in court.