Scots property tycoon in crash after high-speed police chase

The case against Mark Harris was heard at Perth Sheriff Court. Picture: Geograph
The case against Mark Harris was heard at Perth Sheriff Court. Picture: Geograph
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A property tycoon who crashed after leading police on a high speed chase claimed he smashed into a wall because he was swerving to avoid a deer.

Mark Harris, 46, said he had been involved in another crash with a deer a year earlier and it had caused £23,000 worth of damage to his car, a Rolls-Royce.

Harris told a court yesterday he failed to blow into a breathalyser after the crash and refused to give a blood sample because he had a fear of needles.

He told Perth Sheriff Court he spent an evening in the pub at a pool competition before driving home and causing a crash which left him injured in hospital.

Harris accepted he was speeding in the wet conditions and was driving at over 90mph, but he denied in evidence that his speed had reached over 120mph.

Police officers told the trial they reached a speed of 120mph as they pursued the businessman, but he was going so fast at the time that he disappeared from view.

Harris told the trial he had pulled off the A90 into the village of Longforgan but denied driving at double the 30mph limit when he lost control and smashed into a wall.

“I definitely wasn’t doing double the speed limit,” he said. “There was an animal - I think it was a deer - on my left hand side.”

Police had been looking for Harris as they had received two anonymous reports he was drink-driving on his way home from the pub.

Harris, of Invergowrie, denies driving dangerously. He also denies failing to provide a blood specimen and failing to stop for a police officer. The trial continues.