Disqualified motorcyclist chased through Oban by police

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A ‘moment of madness’ last Monday saw a motorcyclist being chased through Oban by police, just minutes after he was disqualified from driving.

John Francis Stephen Frizell, of Howat Street, Glasgow, was sentenced to eight months in jail on Wednesday March 27.

Sheriff Patrick Hughes deemed Frizzel’s driving as one of the worst cases he had come across.

The 39-year-old was banned from driving on Monday for six months for causing oncoming vehicles to take evasive action during an overtaking manoeuver on Dunollie Road on March 6 last year.

However, after leaving Oban Sheriff Court on Monday March 25, Frizzel was observed by police getting on his motorbike.

Procurator fiscal Meghan Glancey, told the court on Wednesday how Frizzel asked a local restaurant to keep his helmet and jacket before entering court – the conversation was overheard by a member of court staff, who informed police.

Officers then watched him leave court and make his way to the restaurant.

‘He was then observed by police to take off on his motorbike. He then accelerated away,’ said Ms Glancey

Officers pursued Frizzel, but he failed to stop and continued up Albany Street. He went across a pedestrian traffic island and through a no entry sign.

The procurator fiscal continued: ‘He narrowly missed an oncoming vehicle while negotiating a blind left-hand bend.

‘He continued on to Albany Street and accelerated the wrong way down a one-way street.’

The accused then made his way north and continued the wrong way up George Street, with oncoming cars being forced to take evasive action.

‘On William Street, a pedestrian crossing the road was forced to run due to the accused’s speed,’ Ms Glancey added.

‘The pursuit was stood down due to the manoeuvers being carried out by the accused.’

The search for him continued and his motorcycle was eventually traced in the car park of a local hotel and Frizzel was found sitting outside Oban Sheriff Court.

He was then taken to the police station and held in custody.

In his defence, Edward Thornton said his client ‘regrettably’ made the decision to drive to Oban after getting his court days mixed up.

Mr Thornton said his intention was to leave the bike with a friend in Oban and, after being disqualified, Frizzel decided to drive the motorcycle to where he works.

‘When he realised he was being observed and about to be arrested, he simply panicked,’ Mr Thornton said. ‘It was a moment of madness on his part.

‘He eventually drove to the hotel where his friend works, parked the vehicle and made his way back to court with the intention of surrendering himself.’

Sheriff Patrick Hughes said: ‘This is one of the worst dangerous driving cases I have come across. Your driving was appalling.’

Frizzel, who was also charged with not having insurance, was disqualified from holding a driver’s licence for 40 months, and will have to carry out the extended test of competency.

He was sentenced to a total of eight months in jail.