An Aberdeen man has been jailed after taking a student’s car “for a little rally” around city centre streets.
Mathew Whyte, 33, approached two students and told them if they didn’t let him drive the vehicle they would “be assaulted and never see the car again”.
The terrified owner let him in the car and chose to stay in the vehicle.He was then left screaming in the passenger seat as Whyte sped through the streets, swerving, clipping a kerb and going through a red light.
Depute fiscal Alan Townsend told Aberdeen Sheriff Court a group of students had been socialising next to Cruyff Court on Catherine Street at about 9pm on June 16 2017 when they were approached by Whyte.
He said: “He became verbally abusive, challenging them to fight.
“The accused approached the passenger side and said ‘let me have a spin round the block. Let’s go for a little rally’.
“He said they had two choices – either allow him to drive the car or be assaulted and never see the car again.”
The pair felt “threatened and fearful” and “allowed” him in the car.
One man moved from the driver’s seat to the passenger side and the other man got out. Whyte drove off and struck a kerb before turning on to George Street and going straight through a red light.
Mr Townsend said: “His other friends, realising what’s happening, get into another car and follow the car which is being driven by the accused.”
Whyte then turned left on to Hutcheon Street, increasing speed “significantly, above the speed limit” and swerved, crossing the centre line.
Mr Townsend said the remaining passenger was “scared for his safety and screaming for the accused to stop”.
He said: “Upon reaching a red light signal at the junction with Berryden Road, the accused stopped the car.
“It should be noted the man’s friend had actually pulled in front of the car the accused was in.
“He managed to prevent him driving any further along the road in the car.”
The driver then moved into the passenger seat and the man drove back to Catherine Street before Whyte got out and walked away.
Whyte, of Northsea Court, Aberdeen, pled guilty to acting in a threatening or abusive manner.
He also pled guilty to other charges of dangerous driving and driving without a licence or insurance.
Defence lawyer David Sutherland said his client had “no recollection of the events of that evening given the passage of time”.
Sheriff Morag McLaughlin jailed him for nine months.
The sheriff also banned him from driving for a year.