‘Hormonal’ driver gets 4 years after man forced to cling to car bonnet

A WOMAN driver who rammed a pedestrian and wove through crowded streets as he clung on to her car bonnet, and then blamed her hormones, has been jailed for more than four years.

Suzanne Gilchrist carried 22-year-old Stuart Morris along on her Vauxhall Corsa for nearly a fifth of a mile after driving into him as she tried to escape from a store detective.

Sheriff Wyllie Robertson, told Gilchrist, 37, that CCTV footage of the incident, which was played in court, showed “vividly” how she had put Mr Morris’s life in danger.

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Emma White, prosecuting, said the incident began with the mother of one trying to get away from the security officer at the Howgate Shopping Centre in Falkirk at about 4pm.

She drove away as the guard, Lorne Stevenson, tried to open her car door and snatch the keys from the ignition. Mr Stevenson wanted to speak to her about an alleged theft from Boots.

Stirling Sheriff Court heard that as Gilchrist sped off, Mr Morris, an “unconnected” passer-by, happened to be crossing the road and was in her way.

Miss White said Gilchrist drove towards him and struck him, causing him to jump on to the bonnet to avoid being hurt.

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She then drove off “at speed” through a series of streets, weaving from side to side.

Miss White said: “She was driving really fast, swerving over the road, and trying to force him off the bonnet. Her wheels were spinning as she turned into Princes Street in the town centre, and she never even tried to stop at the junction.”

The CCTV footage featured close-ups of Mr Morris trying to stay on the speeding car.

The depute fiscal said the incident came to an end when Gilchrist was held up by other traffic at lights.

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Mr Morris was then seen to stand on the bonnet and kick the windscreen to try to smash it, so Gilchrist could not continue.

Mr Stevenson ran up and tried to open the car door, but Gilchrist slammed it shut.

Miss White said: “The lights then turned green and she again tried to drive off with Mr Morris still on the bonnet. Mr Stevenson then managed to force open the door and, after a struggle with Mr Stevenson, managed to switch off the ignition.”

Gilchrist, of Boswall Parkway, Edinburgh, admitted assaulting Mr Morris, and trying to throw him from her car to the danger of his life on 12 June last year.

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Rhona McLeod, defending, said Gilchrist had “believed herself to be in danger”.

She said: “She thought that she was pregnant and was suffering from some sort of hormonal imbalance, and was on such a knife-edge that she panicked.”

Sheriff Robertson jailed Gilchrist for four years and three months.

Mr Morris, a builder’s labourer, said Gilchrist deserved a jail term, adding: “She was crazy. When my girlfriend gets hormonal, she just shouts a bit, she doesn’t try to kill anyone.”

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