By Michael MacLeod
A NERVOUS husband led cops on an 80mph chase because he feared his pregnant wife would find out he borrowed her car.
Despite having been banned from the roads SEVEN times before, 29 year-old James Simpson agreed to drive from Airdrie to Edinburgh to give a friend a lift.
He then tried to drive home drunk at 2.30am after downing five cans of lager.
But he “panicked” when he saw police and crashed his partner’s Vauxhall Vectra after a 20-minute chase through Edinburgh city centre.
Simpson, of Airdrie, was sent to prison for 18 months and disqualified from driving for 15 years today (Tuesday) at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
The sentence means Simpson is unlikely to see his child’s birth, as court heard that his wife was 16 weeks pregnant.
He drove to the capital last month after getting a call from a friend whose car had been towed and needed a lift.
Defence agent Cameron Tait said: “The man pleaded with Mr Simpson for a lift to Edinburgh from Airdrie.
“He took his wife’s vehicle and has taken his friend back to Edinburgh.
“They went into the house and had five cans of lager.
“He should have stayed over at his friend’s but knew he would be in trouble with his wife, who is 16 weeks pregnant, so has stupidly tried to drive back to Airdrie.”
Police tried to stop unemployed Simpson at Causewayside but were ignored and chased him through the city.
Fiscal depute Ruth Ross-Davie said Simpson clocked at least 80mph while trying to escape the police.
The chase ended at St Leonard’s Hill where Simpson smashed the red Vectra into a parking barrier.
He pled guilty to failing to stop for police or red lights, ignoring a “no entry” sign and exceeding the speed limit.
Simpson also admitted he was driving with no insurance or licence and refused to give a breath sample to police.
Mr Tait added: “It was obvious to him that the car behind was the police but his foolishness also became blaringly apparent and he panicked.
“He behaved in an unacceptable and deplorable manner.”
His wife’s car was forfeited when Simpson was arrested.
Sheriff Derrick McIntyre also ordered him to re-sit his driving test once the 15-year ban is served.
By Michael MacLeod