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Thurso man refused to give blood sample Wick Sheriff Court is told

By Ali Morrison

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Wick Sheriff Court.
Wick Sheriff Court.

A sheriff told a drink-driving suspect that had there been clear evidence he had been behind the wheel he would have faced a prison sentence.

Martin Gunn (31), the court heard, admitted having failed to provide the blood sample and failing to identify the driver of the car on June 22.

He was ordered to carry out 210 hours of unpaid community work and was disqualified from driving for six years.

At Wick Sheriff Court, Sheriff Gary Aitken was told that the police received information that Gunn was believed to have been driving a vehicle.

The accused is currently banned from driving.

Officers traced the car and, after a little time, the accused, who gave a positive breath test was arrested and taken to Wick police station.

Fiscal depute Sue Foard said that there was “an issue” with the intoximeter and the officers proceeded to the next stage of the testing process which required Gunn to provide a sample of blood.

The fiscal said the accused declined at that point, telling officers he was “scared of needles”.

Defence solicitor George Mathers, who also referred to Gunn’s needle phobia, stressed that he had denied to officers having been the driver of the vehicle.

However, Mr Mathers also conceded that Gunn, who has an offending record, had not co-operated with the police, which he should have done.

A background report indicated that the accused had been co-operating with unpaid work imposed following a previous, unrelated, offence and was in full employment and had a secure home.

Mr Mathers suggested a further period of unpaid community work as a possible sentence but added that Gunn was also in a position to pay a fine.

Sheriff Aitken told Gunn that he should have known better than to refuse to co-operate with the police but conceded that there was no clear evidence that he had been driving the vehicle.

The sheriff went on: “You provided a positive breath sample and if there had been evidence that you were driving I would have jailed you for the full 18 months.”

Sheriff Aitken said that imposing the sentence of 210 hours of unpaid work was a direct alternative to prison.

Gunn, of St John’s House, Thurso, was admonished on the charge of failing to identify the driver of the vehicle.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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