"It seems an inept attempt to take a £40,000 car"
Naveed Nawaz, aged 26, of Birmingham, has been jailed for eight months after he stole a £40,000 Jaguar from a garage forecourt to get home.
Inverness Sheriff Court heard that he made off with the car from Park’s of Hamilton’s showroom on Harbour Road on October 8, 2020.
Just days before the brazen theft, he had crashed his own car on north roads twice.
Nawaz careered into a ditch in Sutherland then left the road and collided with a house conservatory in Caithness.
Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said that Nawaz had committed “an astounding and incredible course of criminal conduct in a matter of days”.
He asked defence solicitor Neil Wilson: “It seems an inept attempt to take a £40,000 car to get home to Birmingham, and he has no explanation why he was in Sutherland and Caithness.
“Was he trying to do the North Coast 500?”
Mr Wilson could offer no answer other than his client had no money when he was released by police after stealing the Jaguar.
The car’s engine had been left running in the forecourt to update its navigation system. Nawaz got in the vehicle and drove off.
A short while later, Nawaz was caught by police near Moy.
Mr Wilson explained that his client was released on an undertaking to appear at Inverness at a later date and was trying to get home to Washwood Heath Road in Birmingham by train.
Mr Wilson added: “When he saw police, he panicked and ran away.”
It was heard that police found him hiding in a carriage. He was again released.
Mr Wilson said: “He failed to turn up twice at Inverness Sheriff Court in November to answer the undertaking, a warrant was issued and he was arrested in Glasgow on December 7.”
Mr Wilson also said that Nawaz had committed other road traffic offences in Edinburgh in November and had since been placed on a community payback order for 200 hours of unpaid work.
Fiscal depute Roderick Urquhart explained that on October 2, Nawaz drove at 90mph on a single track road near Colaball Farm, Lairg, lost control of his car and ended up in a ditch.
Three days later, in the small rural hamlet of Haster on October 5, Nawaz drove at speed, lost control and crashed into a conservatory.
Nawaz admitted theft of a car, failing to identify the driver to police when he was intercepted at Moy and driving the unregistered Jaguar without insurance.
He also admitted two charges of careless driving, failing to identify the driver of the vehicle involved in the collisions and trespassing onto a railway line near Inverness on October 9.
Nawaz was jailed for eight months and Sheriff Cruickshank backdated the custodial sentence to December 8. He was also banned from driving for 16 months.