Sheriff asks man who stole £40k Jaguar car 'to get home' if he was trying to do the North Coast 500
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A MAN who stole a brand new £40,000 Jaguar from an Inverness garage to get home to Birmingham was jailed for eight months.
But before 26-year-old Naveed Nawaz drove away the vehicle from the forecourt of Park's of Hamilton's showroom on Harbour Road on October 8, he had twice crashed his 11-year-old car.
Just days before, he careered into a ditch in Sutherland and on the second occasion, left the road and collided with a house conservatory in Caithness.
At Inverness Sheriff Court on Wednesday, Sheriff Ian Crucikshank described first offender Nawaz as having committed "an astounding and incredible course of criminal conduct in a matter of days".
And he asked defence solicitor Neil Wilson: "It seems an inept attempt to take a £40,000 car to get home to Birmingham. And he has no explanation for why he was in Sutherland and Caithness. Was he trying to do the North Coast 500?"
Mr Wilson could offer no answer other than his client had no money when he was released by police after stealing the Jag.
The court was told that when the luxury car had been left running in the garage forecourt to update its navigation system, Nawaz leapt in and drove it off. He was caught by police a short time later near the Moy wind farm.
Mr Wilson said Nawaz was released on an undertaking to appear at Inverness at a later date and was trying to get home to Washwood Heath Road in Birmingham by boarding a train.
Mr Wilson said: "When he saw police, he panicked and ran away."
The court heard officers found him hiding in a carriage. He was again released.
Mr Wilson added: "But he failed to turn up twice at Inverness in November to answer the undertaking, a warrant was issued and he was arrested in Glasgow on December 7."
Mr Wilson added that Nawaz had committed other road traffic offences in Edinburgh in November and had since been placed on a community payback order for 200 hours of unpaid work.
Fiscal depute Roderick Urquhart told the court that on October 2, Nawaz drove at 90mph on a single-track road near Colaball Farm, Lairg, lost control of his car and ended up in a ditch.
Three days later, in the small rural hamlet of Haster on October 5, Nawaz drove at excessive speed, causing him to lose control coming out of a bend. He crashed into the conservatory of a house there.
Nawaz admitted theft of a car, failing to identify the driver to police when he was intercepted at Moy and driving the unregistered marque without insurance.
He also admitted two charges of careless driving, failing to identify the driver of the vehicle involved in the collisions and trespassing onto a railway line near Inverness on October 9.
Sheriff Cruickshank backdated the custodial sentence to December 8, and also banned him from driving for 16 months.