A PENRITH man has been sentenced for driving a scooter dangerously while over the legal drug limit at a major roundabout on the town outskirts.
Jack Straughan, 28, overtook a stationary unmarked police patrol car and then rode through two red lights at Kemplay just before 8pm on March 19. The officer activated emergency equipment while in pursuit of Straughan, who headed along the A6 towards Eamont Bridge where – after slight contact between the two vehicles – he fell into a roadside verge.
Carlisle Crown Court heard today (WED) how Straughan tried to flee but was apprehended. Upon arrest he repeatedly apologised, calling himself an “idiot” and saying: “I wasn’t thinking. I just kept going. I’m embarrassed about what I’ve done.”
Straughan, of Victoria Road, Penrith, was found to be over the legal driving limit for a cannabis breakdown product, and a bag of the class B drug was found in his jacket. He admitted dangerous driving, drug-driving, no insurance and cannabis possession.
The court heard Straughan worked hard and was a valued employee of a small firm which provided industrial cleaning and groundwork services.
Recorder Paul Reid QC quickly concluded he wouldn’t be imposing a prison sentence – immediate or suspended – but took a dim view of Straughan’s offending and noted as he watched police dash-cam footage of the incident that his scooter “doesn’t have a rear light on”.
“It is an accident waiting to happen,” the judge remarked, “but fortunately nothing did.”
Straughan was given an 18-month community order comprising a rehabilitation activity requirement and 80 hours’ unpaid work. He was banned from driving for 18 months and told he must take an extended test.