Tayside and Central Scotland

£60,000 crash damage driver jailed

Kingsway crash Image copyright Dougie Nicolson/The Courier
Image caption John Duncan had only taken six driving lessons before the crash

A learner driver who caused £60,000 worth of damage after crashing a BMW into a footbridge has been jailed for 17 months.

A court was told that John Duncan, who had only taken six driving lessons, was spotted driving at "grossly excessive" speed on Dundee's Kingsway.

Duncan ploughed through a barrier before hitting a set of concrete steps leading to a pedestrian bridge.

The bridge has not re-opened since the incident and is waiting to be repaired.

Depute fiscal Susan Ruta told Dundee Sheriff Court that Duncan had only been released from prison a few months earlier after serving another sentence.

She said: "He drove off down the A90 Kingsway and a few minutes later approached the roundabout driving at grossly excessive speed.

"He attempted to negotiate it but took it too wide.

"He moved through the safety barrier and collided with the footbridge, causing significant damage.

"One of his passengers was taken to Ninewells Hospital with a cut to her forehead and significant swelling to her eye."

Image copyright Alan Richardson
Image caption John Duncan was told by a sheriff he was "incompetent and over-confident"

Duncan, 23, of Dundee, pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving, and driving without a licence or insurance on 21 January.

Solicitor advocate Kris Gilmartin, defending, said: "He had been given driving lessons for Christmas and had taken six, and in the excitement of being able to drive bought the car.

"The people he was driving that night had asked him for a favour and the temptation was too much for him."

Sheriff Alastair Brown jailed Duncan for 12 months to be served consecutively to a further five months outstanding from his licence on his previous offence.

Duncan was also banned from driving for three years and eight months.

Sheriff Brown said: "You shouldn't have been anywhere near a car that night.

"You were incompetent and over-confident."

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