A prolific offender who’s “no stranger to jail” led police on a dangerous high-speed pursuit through Dundee’s streets.
Scott Wheeler, of Eden Terrace, spent his 21st birthday behind bars after speeding off from police in Strathmore Avenue on August 26, failing to stop at a red light and driving on the opposite side of the road while overtaking other vehicles in a 30mph zone.
Appearing at Dundee Sheriff Court, he admitted a charge of dangerous driving, where it was revealed he still had an unexpired portion of a previous sentence.
Solicitor Paul Parker Smith claimed that Wheeler had “panicked after initially stopping and made things worse for himself”.
Mr Parker Smith continued: “He turned 21 the day after he was remanded.
“His record does contain matters that will concern the court but it is not bad for road traffic offences.
“His driving was undoubtedly dangerous. He did stop initially when required to by police and then took off.
“He had second thoughts, he repented and stopped for the pursuing police officers.
“No harm was actually caused but there was potential for damage.
“He blames no one but himself for where he finds himself.”
Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC told Wheeler he was on licence after an 18-month prison sentence, putting him in “a very serious position”.
However, instead of jail, she imposed a community payback order with 120 hours’ unpaid work and a restriction of liberty order confining Wheeler to his home from 7pm-7am on an electronic tag every day for two months.
She also banned Wheeler from driving for a year and until he passes the extended test.
She said: “You have a record and have spent time in young offenders institutions, so you are no stranger to jail.
“However, I am persuaded I can follow the recommendations in the background reports and impose a non-custodial sentence.”
‘I got older and wiser’
Wheeler spoke to the Tele in October 2015 to reveal how he had descended into criminality after being kicked out of Craigie High School.
But he said at the time, aged 19, that he had managed to turn his life around and was looking forward to a brighter future.
Wheeler was speaking as part of his involvement with Kickstart, a 12-week programme that guided youngsters into work alongside football.
At the time Wheeler said: “Getting sent down really showed me I need to get a grip and stop making life hard for myself.
“I got a bit older and wiser and I realised I didn’t want to get in trouble any more.”