Drink driver ‘lucky not to be shot’ by police after anti-terror bollards crash

A banned drink-driver narrowly avoided being shot by armed police after crashing into anti-terrorism bollards outside the Scottish Parliament.

Anthony Oldham was speeding in a souped-up Vauxhall Vectra when he lost control and careered into the steel bollards, wrecking the vehicle.

The 26-year-old, who was disqualified from driving at the time, then punched a taxi driver who tried to come to his aid.

Police officers caught him hiding in the grounds of a nearby primary school, the Daily Record reports.

Oldham appeared via prison video link at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday to admit dangerous driving and assault.

Sheriff Donald Corke said, "one could have expected him to be shot” after hearing details of the incident.

Defence agent Neil Martin said officers hadn’t been on hand “given the hour” as the collision happened at around 5.10am on June 14.

The sheriff replied: “That’s reassuring to know.”

Fiscal depute Rosie Cook said taxi driver David Murray saw the silver Vectra “travelling at speed” on the opposing carriageway and over the middle of a roundabout.

She said the vehicle crashed into security bollards at the front of the city's Parliament building.

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The court heard the later police investigation found the car was speeding at up to 44mph in a 20mph zone.

Ms Cook said David “went to assist the people in the car” and dialled 999.

She said Oldham got out the Vectra and asked the cabbie to drive him to his mum’s home.

The court was told David could be heard on the 999 call saying, “I can’t take you. Get out of my taxi, mate.”

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Ms Cook said Oldham threw punches at David and struck the side of his face with one.

On the 999 call, David could be heard saying, “Come on, mate, don’t hit me. I was trying to help.”

Police arrived at the scene and found Oldham in the grounds of Royal Mile Primary School.

He was taken to St Leonards police station and failed a breathalyser test, giving a reading of 58mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The limit is 22mg.

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Mr Martin said Oldham was recently released from a prison sentence and met “peers” he’d been trying to avoid and ended up “drinking to excess”.

The solicitor said his client was given a “shot” of the Vectra, which had a two-litre turbo engine, and “lost control of it quite spectacularly”.

Mr Martin said the smash caused “catastrophic damage” to the car and stressed the “fecklessness” of Oldham’s offending.

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He said Oldham was “mortified” to have struck the taxi driver although it had been a “poor effort at a punch”. His client had been in a “state of some shock” after the collision, he added.

Oldham, a dad whose address was given as Edinburgh’s Saughton Prison, also admitted drink driving and driving while disqualified.

Sheriff Corke deferred sentence on Oldham until next month for reports.

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