A trio who raced each other down a busy dual carriageway at speeds upwards of 100mph today (Thursday) avoided jail.
Matthew Florence, Steven Anderson and Craig Robertson hurtled down a five-mile stretch of the A90 in Angus, racing each other at “grossly excessive” speeds.
Florence, behind the wheel of a VW Golf, Anderson in his VW Polo Gti and Robertson in a Ford Fiesta overtook each other repeatedly as they travelled well in excess of the speed limit.
Forfar Sheriff Court heard Anderson and Robertson were guilty of offences at the “most serious end of the dangerous driving spectrum” as their cars were full of passengers at the time.
They were told that if it was not for their clean criminal records they would have received jail terms.
Florence, 21, of Balquham Cottages, Brechin; Anderson, 22, of St Colme’s Close, Kirriemuir; and Robertson, 22, of Rowan Avenue, Kirriemuir, all pleaded guilty on summary complaint to a charge of dangerous driving committed on February 16 last year on the southbound A90 Aberdeen to Dundee road.
Defence solicitor Brian Bell, for Florence, said: “He expresses shame and embarrassment about his behaviour.
“There will be an impact on his employment but he should retain it.”
Nick Markowski, for Anderson, said he would lose his job over the incident - and had even broken up with his girlfriend because she was so angry over the incident.
He added: “It was a road they were well familiar with. There was an element of peer pressure and immaturity involved.
“He understands he will lose his licence.”
Grant Bruce, representing Robertson, added: “He is remorseful and fully understands what he has done.”
Sheriff Gregor Murray banned Florence from the road for a year and disqualified Anderson and Robertson for 18 months.
All three were ordered to resit the extended driving test before being allowed back on the road.
Florence was fined £1500 while Anderson and Robertson were given community payback orders as a “direct alternative to custody”.
Anderson will carry out 225 hours unpaid work while Robertson will carry out 175 hours.
Sheriff Murray said: “I make it clear that in your cases Mr Anderson and Mr Robertson these offences are at the most serious end of the dangerous driving spectrum.
“Your conduct was appalling given the speed, the manner of your driving, the fact the road was wet and that you were carrying passengers.
“Had it not been for your clean record and general good backgrounds and your guilty pleas I make it clear you would have been going to jail.”