Man who took car onto icy canal 'daft and stupid'

A MAN who crashed his car through ice after driving along a frozen canal was described as "daft" and "stupid" by a sheriff yesterday.

Andrew Nisbet, 25, is facing financial ruin as a result of the stunt, Livingston Sheriff Court was told.

British Waterways Board has sued him for the 16,000 it cost to hire a crane to recover his Peugeot estate from the icy water, and Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade is likely to pursue him for a further 5,199.

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When he appeared for sentence yesterday Nisbet, of South Queensferry, was sentenced to carry out 200 hours of community work. He earlier pleaded guilty on indictment to culpable and reckless criminal conduct by driving on to the Union Canal at Bridgend, West Lothian, on 11 January.

Paul Beaton, prosecuting, said the emergency services had received calls from members of the public about a black, W-reg Peugeot 406 with two people inside being driven on the frozen canal. When police arrived they saw the rear end of the vehicle protruding from the ice.

Nisbet was traced as the registered keeper of the car and police went to an address he was known to frequent, where they were let in by his friend James Naismith, who confessed to being a passenger. He said: "I know why you're here. I was in the car as well." Police managed to contact Nisbet later that day.

Sheriff Donald Muirhead told Nisbet: "Police called you stupid and your own solicitor called you daft. People don't get prosecuted for being stupid or daft. You got prosecuted for having a criminal indifference for doing what you were doing."

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