Tayside and Central Scotland

Man drove towards children in a bid to escape police in Dundee

Geoffrey Goto Image copyright Alan Richardson
Image caption Geoffrey Goto was warned by a sheriff that a prison sentence is "almost inevitable"

A man drove for 300 yards along a path outside a school, causing pupils to run into the middle of the road to avoid being hit, a court has heard.

Geoffrey Goto was trying to escape from police who had pulled him over on Dundee's Lawton Road in June last year.

The unlicensed and uninsured driver was spotted by an officer who was involved in an earlier incident with him.

A sheriff told Goto that a prison sentence was "almost inevitable" when he is sentenced in May.

A jury had earlier found the 31-year-old guilty of 12 charges, including dangerous driving and police assault, at Dundee Sheriff Court.

Mounted pavement

Almost six months earlier, Goto had driven off after being pulled over in Dundee for driving out of a parking area at speed with no lights on in the dark.

PC Sean Petrie, 25, told the trial that Goto's Ford Fiesta was subsequently spotted outside the then temporary base of Harris Academy.

PC Petrie said that as officers approached, Goto began to reverse his car.

He said: "There was a lollipop man helping children cross in the middle of the road and he stopped just short of him.

"He then mounted the pavement - he travelled along it for about 300 yards towards the junction with Byron Street.

"There were parked cars on that side of the road so he was fully on the pavement."

Forced to scatter

The officer said four schoolchildren had to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

He said: "Two or three of them had to run into the carriageway to avoid the vehicle."

Sheriff George Way deferred sentence until 11 May for reports and released Goto on bail.

He said: "These are very grave matters. As dangerous driving goes it could only be made worse had there been actual harm or injury.

"Children were required to scatter. The car was driving on the pavement for 300 yards.

"He has to understand the almost inevitable penalty for that has to be prison."