Tayside and Central Scotland

Perth motorist branded a 'maniac' over high-speed chase

A motorist who sped through Perth city centre before smashing into a listed building has been branded a 'maniac' by a sheriff.

Darren Chalk caused £5,000 worth of damage when he crashed into a primary school after leading police on a high speed chase on 30 April 2011.

At Perth Sheriff Court Chalk's driving was described as appalling.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis banned him from driving for 33 months and gave him 250 hours community service.

Fiscal depute John Malpass told the court officers in an unmarked police car initially spotted the 29-year-old driving off at speed from a set of traffic lights at 22:40 on 30 April 2011.

Dangerous speeding

They activated blue flashing lights and caught up with Chalk at another set of traffic lights.

However, when they tried to speak to him he simply drove off at speed again, he was then seen swerving around pedestrians on the road as he sped off and he also crossed into the oncoming carriageway to get past slower moving vehicles.

Mr Malpass said Chalk continued at speed past a hotel entrance and through more red lights as he raced along several streets in central Perth with the police right behind him.

The court heard the 10 minute chase only came to an end when the 29-year old lost control of his 2.3 litre VW Golf as he tried to take a bend.

Attempted escape

Chalk smashed through railings outside Caledonian Road Primary School in Perth and ended up causing £5,000 worth of damage to the listed building.

The 29-year-old then got out of the car and ran off but he was caught a short time later and arrested.

Chalk, from Perth, admitted failing to stop for police on 30 April last year. He also admitted driving dangerously and at excessive speed in various Perth streets, ignoring three sets of red lights, before hitting and damaging a listed building.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis told Chalk: "You drove through this area for a mile and a half like a maniac. This was an appalling piece of driving.

"It took place at 10.40 pm on a Saturday night when there was the potential for pedestrians to be milling around under the influence of alcohol."

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