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Drunk motorcyclist jailed after telling court "cock and bull story"

Drunk motorcyclist jailed after telling court

Saturday 15 August 2020

Drunk motorcyclist jailed after telling court "cock and bull story"


A 48-year-old repeat offender, who rode a motorbike around St. Catherine's Breakwater while drunk and disqualified, has been jailed after attempting to feed what was described as a “cock and bull story” to the Royal Court.

As well as being thrown behind bars for 18 months, Gavin Robert Ferguson also received a four-year disqualification from driving.

He appeared before the Royal Court yesterday to be sentenced for a total of five motoring offences - including a lack of insurance - which took place in breach of a community service order imposed last May.

The offences were all committed around 22:00 on 20 July 2019.

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Pictured: Ferguson was seen driving on St. Catherine's breakwater.

That evening, Ferguson drove his motorcycle “the wrong way down the one way system” and then the length of the breakwater before turning back towards the road. A witness reported that the bike almost fell over as it slipped on the gravel around 15 feet in front of him.

However, Ferguson had been disqualified from driving for two years after driving over the limit just a month-and-a-half before.

When Police arrived in St. Catherine, they found the bike parked near the boat park. Police Dog Leo helped locate Ferguson by tracking his scent from the motorbike to a boat in the yard. 

Ferguson, who was with his then-girlfriend in the boat, had the key to the motorbike in his pocket. Two motorcycle helmets, along with a nearly full bottle of vodka and a can of lager, were also found on the boat.

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Pictured: Police Dog Leo helped locate Ferguson by tracking his scent from the motorbike to a boat in the yard. 

Tests revealed Ferguson was nearly twice over the legal limit with no less than 200 milligrams of alcohol in 100ml of urine. 

The motorcycle did not have a valid insurance disc and when officers asked Ferguson to say who had ridden the motorbike earlier on, he replied: “I’ll let you know when I’ve spoken to him."

Ferguson said he had parked the bike at St. Catherine’s as it was free and to prevent it from being vandalised. The Court heard that he denied riding it on 20 July, saying he had gotten a lift to the area to spend “the night under the stars."

When he was told PD Leo had tracked him from the bike to the boat, Ferguson said he may have looked at the bike earlier to check for damage and may have started it to let it run. 

He could not explain why the helmets were found on the boat, stating that they were stashed there previously. 

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Pictured: Ferguson said one of his inmates at La Moye had been driving that night.

For months, Ferguson then kept denying he had driven the motorbike that night and suggested a fellow inmate at La Moye had been driving.

His then-girlfriend gave a statement saying he had been the one driving that night, but Ferguson claimed it was “untrue” and that she had said so “to spite” him.

Evidence from the prosecution showed the man Ferguson accused of driving had been working that night. The man later stated he didn’t want to give evidence or take part in a trial against Ferguson.

10 months after the offence, Ferguson eventually admitted he had driven the motorbike.

Crown Advocate Emma Hollywood described his record as “extensive”, explaining that it includes 19 separate motoring convictions, nine of which were for driving whilst disqualified.

She recommended a total sentence of 16 months in prison and for Ferguson to be disqualified for four years, with the obligation of retaking his test.

The offences of 20 July were in breach of a community service order imposed in May 2019. He had previously breached the order by making racist comments during his second meeting. 

The Court also heard that Ferguson had breached his bail conditions twice. 

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Pictured: Advocate Binnie suggested her client had already served sufficient time.

Advocate Allana Binnie, defending, suggested her client had already served sufficient time, having spent the equivalent of one year and nine months in prison, and urged the court to impose a stand-alone probation order which would implement the recommendations of the probation service. 

She explained Ferguson had been trying to sell the motorbike and had gone to St. Catherine to show it to a prospective buyer. 

Whilst waiting for the buyer, Ferguson’s then girlfriend kept asking to get on the bike and his lawyer said he had “foolishly” agreed.

She said he had only driven on a short distance, the majority of which was on the breakwater, in a remote area with only few people around. 

She added there was no evidence he had been speeding and that no witness had described his driving as “bad”.

Advocate Binnie described the incident as a “one-off” and noted there was no evidence “of longer-term evasion”. 

She referred to the tragic circumstances in which Ferguson had been introduced to drugs and alcohol saying psychological intervention would have been required “a long time ago”.

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Pictured: The Lieutenant Bailiff Anthony Olsen was sitting with Jurats Kim Averty and Jerry Ramsden.

The Lieutenant Bailiff Anthony Olsen, who was sitting with Jurats Kim Averty and Jerry Ramsden, eventually decided to increase the sentence sought by the Court to 18 months. 

He described how Ferguson had told “a cock and bull story”, seeking to implicate someone else, and kept pedalling a “mendacious version for 10 months after the offences."

He referred to Ferguson’s record as “appalling”, with convictions for robbery, burglary, violence, dishonesty and motoring offences. 

He said the Court had given “anxious consideration” to a potential probation order but had concluded the offending was so serious custody couldn’t be avoided.

Ferguson has been disqualified for four years and ordered to retake his test at the end of the period. 

The Lieutenant Bailiff urged Fergusion to use his time in prison “wisely” and to take full advantage of the interventions, treatment, and training available there. He also suggested Ferguson should refer himself to the Probation and After Care Service after his release. 

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