Driving ban for man who escaped from police car later involved in crash

The police car he ran from was later involved in a crash.
The police car he ran from was later involved in a crash.

A drink driver who crashed into three cars before making off from the back of a police car after being arrested has been disqualified from driving and given a community payback order.

Stephen Black, 31, drove while more than twice the drink drive limit, without due care and attention, without insurance and then made off from the back of a police car after his arrest near Tweed Bridge, Peebles, for those offences.

And it was while officers were dealing with his attempted escape, on Saturday, July 13, that the police car making chase was involved in a collision which left a family needing hospital attention.

Black, of James Hogg Court, Innerleithen, having pleaded guilty to the charges was sentenced to a 14-month disqualification from driving and a community payback order totalling 260 hours of unpaid work across the four charges.

Defence lawyer Ross Dow said: “It was really bad judgement on his part. He has been drinking more recently. He has been signed off work and is claiming benefits for the first time in a long time.

“He sees it as a stupid decision. He felt okay to drive. He felt his friend was inebriated and was putting himself in danger, so he gave him a lift.

“He was worried about his friend and took a chance on him by putting him in the car and driving him home.”

Of those 260 hours unpaid work, 60 were for being found with a breath alcohol reading of 51 microgrammes – the legal limit being 22 – 60 for driving without due care and attention and colliding with three cars, 80 for perverting the course of justice by escaping from two police officers, and 60 for driving with no insurance.

The accident which followed Black’s arrest and temporary escape, happened at around 7.20pm at Horsbrugh Ford near Cardrona on the A72. The marked police car which was making chase collided with a silver BMW 1 Series car.

The 44-year-old male driver of the BMW, a 36-year-old female passenger and two children aged one and five were taken to the Borders General Hospital at Melrose and later released.

The 25-year-old male driver of the police car was also taken to hospital for treatment, but was discharged later that evening.

The collision has been referred to the police investigations and review commissioner, as is standard practice involving incidents of police contact resulting in injuries.

The A72 was closed in both directions between Peebles and Innerleithen after the crash for several hours.