Driver, 20, facing jail after 115mph car chase with police

A BMW employee is facing a jail term after he was caught speeding at close to three times the speed limit.

Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th May 2017, 3:17 pm
Graeme Mitchell. Picture: Alexander Lawrie

Graeme Mitchell was driving a powerful Jaguar XJ6 when reached speeds of up to 115mph while being chased through the streets of Edinburgh by police.

Mitchell, who was just 19 at the time, ploughed through red lights and weaved the car onto the wrong side of the busy A90 dual carriageway as he attempted to escape.

Officers using lights and sirens chased the dangerous driver for about seven miles, from South Queensferry into Clermiston, where they were eventually told to back off due to the danger Mitchell was causing in a built-up area.

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Mitchell, who has recently been employed by BMW, claimed he had been in an “emotional state” after visiting the graveside of a friend who had been killed in a motorcycle accident.

The 20-year-old is now facing custody after admitting to an amended charge of dangerous driving on various road on September 3, 2015, when he previously appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff court last month.

Mitchell, from Crossgates, Fife, returned to court for sentencing yesterday, but the case was deferred again for a psychological report.

Previously, the court was told road policing officers spotted Mitchell’s Jaguar on the A90 near to South Queensferry at around 10.30am and were notified the vehicle had no valid insurance.

Fiscal depute Anthony Steele said: “Officers followed the vehicle along the A90 and noted the Jaguar was being driven at 80-90mph in a 50mph speed limit.

“Lights and sirens were activated and the officers attempted to stop the Jaguar however the vehicle was seen to increase in reaching speeds of up to 100mph. The accused then began to weave between lanes.

“The speed of the Jaguar then increased to 115mph through a 40mph speed limit before exiting at Kirkliston.”

Council CCTV operators began tailing the speeding Jaguar as it made its way into city centre residential areas.

Mr Steele said: “He then crossed onto the opposite carriageway into the face of oncoming traffic and the pursuit continued along the A90 and past the Barnton junction weaving through the traffic.

“The pursuit continued at a safe distance onto Queensferry Road where the Jaguar was seen driving at approximately 60mph in a 40mph limit. He continued to weave through the traffic often using the opposing carriageway to overtake other vehicles.”

The fiscal added Mitchell then lost control of the speeding Jag by striking a traffic island but managed to continue through the Quality Street junction.

The chasing officers were then told to call off the pursuit due to the danger Mitchell posed to the public.

The CCTV coverage continued and a police dog handler who had been “tactically positioned” on Hillhouse Road managed to get a view of the Jaguar driver. Mitchell was soon picked up and arrested.

Solicitor Charlie Morrison, defending, told the court Mitchell was currently serving a two-year driving ban.

Mr Morrison added his client had “[recently] started a new job at BMW” and had been “horrified” when he was shown the CCTV footage of his driving.

Sheriff Nigel Ross deferred sentence to next month.