Teenage joyrider escapes jail despite three car police chase

The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson
The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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A 17-year-old joyrider has escaped jail despite driving over a roundabout into oncoming traffic at speeds of more than 50mph around Edinburgh Royal Infirmary close to where tragic nurse Jill Pirrie was killed in a hit and run incident.

The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, escaped detention “by the skin of his teeth” and had his sentencing deferred until January, but was warned he faces prison if he refuses to clean up his act.

Officers launched a three car pursuit of the Vauxhall Corsa driven by the youth on the morning of January 2 when it raced past a patrol car on Glenallan Drive, metres from Old Dalkeith Road where Ms Pirrie was run down by teenager Dylan Jenkin in May 2016.

At one stage the youth - who had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving and driving without insurance - flew past a ‘No Entry’ sign into the grounds of the ERI, where a number of ambulances were engaged in change of shifts, before speeding across the main entrance of the accident and emergency department.

The chase finally came to an end at a second roundabout on Gilmerton Station Road, around two miles from the hospital, where the teenager lost control of the car and skidded to a halt.

The court heard the youth then ran from the vehicle, but was caught in a field after a short pursuit by officers.

A social work report referred to the youth’s lack of maturity and under-developed sense of responsibility, as well as his mixing with an unsatisfactory peer group and lack of judgement.

Sheriff Robert Fife said the youth was now on two Community Payback Orders (CPOs) - including one handed out for housebreaking in July - two Restriction of Liberty Orders and was on four bail orders at the time of the offence, but acknowledged solicitor Kenneth Cloggie’s plea the youth had developed “an insight into the impact of his actions on others,” and had found employment since the offence.

It was acknowledged the youth had moved in with his grandparents, who were deemed to be a “positive” influence on the boy.

Sheriff Fife added: “At times I wondered if he was the person sitting in the dock,” but was “just persuaded not to order detention today.”

The Sheriff told the teenager he was giving him “an unusual opportunity given the gravity of the offences.”

He added: “You are not a stranger to the court,” he said “and are getting a deferred sentence by the skin of your teeth”.

“If you get into any trouble I will send you to detention.

“I will not waste any more time”.

Jenkin was sentenced to six years in prison for causing death by dangerous driving when he careered a Ford Ka he bought on Gumtree for £40 off the road during a chase with police, killing Ms Pirrie, 33, in the collision.

He’s since had a further three weeks added to his sentence for sparking a brawl in the visitor’s room at Saughton prison.

newsen@edinburghnews.com