Page last updated at 10:36 GMT, Thursday, 24 September 2009 11:36 UK

Duo admit 70-mile golf buggy bid

Golf buggy
The pair had been drinking heavily before taking the buggy

Two men have been fined for taking a golf buggy onto the A75 road in a bid to make the 70-mile journey home from Portpatrick to Dumfries.

They travelled on the road for about an hour at a top speed of 15mph before being stopped by police.

Stranraer Sheriff Court was told the two men from Dumfries had committed an "extremely foolish offence".

A police spokesman said the possibility of a crash between the buggy and a lorry did "not bear thinking about".

Robert Watt, 21, and Mark Gillespie, 25, both from Dumfries, were spotted at about 2335 BST on 10 June in the buggy on the A77 near Portpatrick, in south west Scotland.

What they did was absolute lunacy and they are lucky that they were not killed
Lagganmore Golf Club spokesman

Police were contacted and the pair were eventually stopped about an hour later on the A75, having travelled about 15 miles to Dervaird near Glenluce.

Gillespie was driving the buggy and was almost three times over the drink limit.

The vehicle had also been travelling without using lights.

Watt admitted stealing the buggy from Lagganmore Golf Club while Gillespie pled guilty to dangerous driving, drink driving and driving without a licence and insurance.

Defending Gillespie, lawyer Arnold Brazenall said that although it was an "amusing episode" his client now accepted that the consequences could have been very serious.

Paul Feeney, representing Watt, said the pair had been working in the Portpatrick area and needed to get back to Dumfries.

Watt had devised the scheme to get home but in the cold light of day it was "beyond them" how they had expected it to succeed.

Stranraer Sheriff Court - Crown copyright image
The men admitted the offences at Stranraer Sheriff Court

Sheriff David Hall said that it was an extremely foolish offence where drink had clearly played a part.

Gillespie was fined a total of £525, banned from driving for three years and ordered to sit an extended re-test.

Watt was fined £150 for the theft of the buggy.

Commenting on the case, a spokesman for Lagganmore Golf Club said: "The maximum speed of the golf buggy would have been about 15mph.

"What they did was absolute lunacy and they are lucky that they were not killed.

"I think they were like ET, just trying to get home."

'No consideration'

Sgt Paul Dodds, of the Galloway Roads Policing Unit, said it was "one of the most unusual incidents" he had ever dealt with.

"I am sure everyone who saw it struggled to believe their eyes when they saw a golf buggy being driven on the main A75 roadway," he said.

He said their incredulity must have been increased "as it was being driven at night with no lights on and being passed by large goods vehicles".

He added: "What is more concerning is the fact that those involved were drunk and it is clear that they showed no consideration for the safety of others or themselves.

"An accident between a golf buggy and an articulated lorry does not bear thinking about."



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