Crashed into tree during Fife police chase
A Fife man was involved in two high-speed police chases within a month and the second ended with him crashing into a tree.
Stewart Murray (32) then tried to run away but he was caught and arrested.
On the previous occasion, police halted their pursuit for safety reasons, after Murray drove through Lochgelly and Cardenden, hitting speeds of more than 80mph.
Murray, of Lochgelly but currently a prisoner at Perth, was given more jail time when he appeared for sentencing at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.
He admitted that on 29th April he drove a car dangerously in Henderson Street, Garry Street, David Street, North Street and Bank Street, all Lochgelly, and also in Shawmills Road and other roads in Cardenden, by reversing and deliberately colliding with a marked police van, driving at excessive speed, failing to stop or give way at junctions and roundabouts and driving in the opposite carriageway.
He also admitted that on 26th May he drove a car without due care and attention or consideration for other road users, in Arthur Place, Arthur Street and Bridge Street, Cowdenbeath.
He reversed his car causing it to strike a parked vehicle, drove towards a police vehicle at speed, repeatedly drove at excessive speeds to evade police capture, lost control of the car causing it to strike a tree, causing injury to his partner.
He further admitted he drove without insurance.
Depute fiscal Dev Kapadia said the first incident occurred at around 1pm when police mobile patrol officers spotted a Vauxhall Astra they knew was used by Murray, who was leaning on the door.
When he saw the police, he immediately jumped into the driver’s seat and the police van was driven behind him to block him in.
Murray deliberately reversed into the police vehicle to clear space for him to escape. He continued to collide with the van and its driver moved back to avoid further damage or injury.
Murray then drove off pursued by the police with their blue lights and sirens activated. He drove through Lochgelly and then passed through Cardenden at high speed.
“He then headed back towards Lochgelly at speeds in excess in 80mph. Because of the manner of his driving they stopped the chase and he was last seen heading towards the A92,” said the depute.
On 26th May at 5.50am police were called to a disturbance and in the vicinity they saw a Citroen Berlingo being driven by Murray.
“When he saw the police vehicle he attempted reverse and struck a parked vehicle. He then drove towards the police at speed, narrowly missing them,” said the depute.
Murray sped off again pursued by police and this time he lost control of his car, crashing into a tree.
Mr Kapadia continued, “The front of the car was completely embedded in the tree. The accused’s partner was in the passenger seat. She got out of the car then fell to the ground with facial injuries and cuts to her arm.
“The accused was apprehended after a short run, was restrained in handcuffs and taken to the police station.”
Defence solicitor Alexander Flett said that in both cases his client had “panicked when he saw the police.”
Sheriff Pino Di Emidio jailed Murray for six months to be served following his current term. He was also banned from driving for 24 months.
Murray is currently serving a 32-month jail sentence for drug dealing which will run until December.