Road Traffic Act
Newsletter 8

Newsletter 6
Newsletter 7


What’s been happening
in the Courts

1. An early guilty plea will be rewarded by having up to one third deducted from the original sentence.
2. An offender will serve only half of the sentence handed down.
3. The Sentence is frequently served in an Open Prison.

Newsletter 8
New causing death offences
What has been happening in Proceedings
Freedom of Information
Fatal Accident Inquiries
School Bus safety
Criminal Proceedings in Scottish Courts


Brief Outline






Lee Benzie aged 31 drove on wrong side
of road crashing into two trees and killing his
passenger Jody Longmore aged 25.


Edinburgh High court
Judge Roger Craik QC
 “you were drunk at the time
and had been taking
valium tablets”

Pled guilty to
Driving under the influence
 of drink and drugs


7 years custodial sentence
5 year driving ban




A month after passing his test
Ryan McGoldrick aged 22 lost control
of his car (on a sharp bend) which left the
road and caught fire killing passenger
Nicola McGowan aged 16


Lord Menzies said
“It has to be appreciated
 by drivers the gravity of
the consequences which
can flow from not
maintaining proper
standards of driving”.

Pled guilty to causing
death by
dangerous driving


3 year custodial sentence
5 year driving ban




Ronald Maclean aged 59 in overtaking
a long queue of traffic smashed head on
into a car killing Elizabeth Foley
and James McKinley and
left 14 year old Kaya McInnes in a coma.


Sheriff Derek Pyle heard
Maclean had twice made overtaking manoeuvres to
pass the long line of traffic
and blamed Maclean for
the crash and would have
been sent to jail if
charged with
dangerous driving.

Charged with careless driving (section 3 of RTA)


Fined 600 and 2 year ban. Offender Maclean was
appealing his “harsh” ban
saying when someone does this they get 3 points and 60 fine




Graham Lynn aged 21,(who had just
regained his licence from drink driving)
Stuart Logue aged 19 and Shaun Marshall
aged 18 (who had passed his test
the day before) were speeding and racing
at up to 90 mph colliding with 4 other cars killing Bethany Secker aged 21, and
causing serious injuries and brain
damage to her  boyfriend Michael Parsons
and  killing their passengers Mark Johston
aged 16 and Luke Shearman aged 17.

Judge Rita Rae QC said
“cars are not toys. There were
3 young pointless
and wholly
avoidable deaths”


Lynn and Logue admitted
causing the  deaths by
dangerous driving. .
Marshall admitted
dangerous driving


Lynn was jailed for
10 years and 2 months
and banned from driving
for 15 years.
Logue was detained for
8 years and banned from
driving for 14 years
Marshall was detained for
13 months and given a 5 year ban.
On Appeal  Lynn’s sentence was
reduced to 7 years and 8 months
and Logue’s to 6 years



Jamie Ross aged 21 “took off” after passing a
speed camera losing control of his
Subaru Imprezza and killing his friend
a passenger Christopher Gribben aged 18.

Edinburgh High court


Plead guilty to Causing death by dangerous driving


2 years and 9 month custodial sentence  banned from driving




James Brown aged 31.
(had an alcohol problem)
crashed his car killing 7 month old
Ella Grace Leith who was strapped in a child
seat in the rear of his car.
Also in the car was girlfriend Emma Tibbits
 Ella’s mum and her  4 year old son Jack.

Judge Lord Uist at
Edinburgh High Court
said the case showed
the dangers people who abuse alcohol pose to themselves and others


Pled guilty to section 3a of 
RTA causing death under
the influence of


2 year custodial sentence  
4 year ban from driving.




Norman Thubron aged 65 smashed head
on into a patient transport vehicle causing passenger Peter Merry aged 83 to die
2 days later.

Hamilton sheriff court


Pled guilty to section 3 of RTA careless driving


Fined 800 and
8 penalty points on licence




Javid Nazir aged 39 was driving a 4x4
when he hit and killed Norwegian
 football supporter
Jan Kalleklev in Glasgow.


At Glasgow High Court Judge
Lord Turnbull said “Your failure
 to take proper care led to the
death of an innocent man visiting
this country”.

Was found guilty of causing
death by dangerous driving
section 1 of the RTA.
It emerged he had previous convictions for both careless
and dangerous driving

3 year custodial sentence
5 year driving ban




Michael Wilson aged 66, who had a sleeping
disorder and had been drinking when his car
swerved across the road and hit the car being
driven by Mr Ellis and
killing him and severely injuring his wife.

Peebles High court sheriff
said it had been “unforgivable” to
take the wheel.


Pled guilty to
careless driving


Fined 5000 and banned
from driving for 5 years




Ewan Macpherson aged 22 on the wrong
side of the road on a blind summit crashed
 head on into a car killing William Melville,
his wife Allison and son William.
Tanya Webster and
Donna Millerboth aged
19 in Macpherson’s car were also killed.


Lord Brailsford said it
was impossible to comprehend the
 suffering. The judge took into
account an appeal
for mercy from Tanya Webster’s mother.


Pled guilty to
causing the
5 deaths by
dangerous driving.


3 years and 4 months
custodial sentence. Banned
from driving for 10 years.
Note; Macpherson was detained
at Noranside Open prison. He was
spotted playing golf on a week’s
home leave in
Sept and October of 2008.
The view taken by the SPS
is that he poses no threat
to the public.



Derek Smith aged 42 crashed into the car
and killed Mum of 2
Tracey Macleman aged 44.


Inverness Sheriff Court.
Van Smith was driving was restricted to
50 mph but was driving at 60 mph.


Plead guilty to careless driving


500 fine banned from
driving for 3 months
Family called for new offences,
already in legislation, to be
implemented in Scotland.



Roger Peacock aged 77 veered across
the road mounting pavement hitting
pedestrians Lindsay Proudfoot aged 81
and Anne Cooper aged 77 who was killed.  Mr Peacock was on his way to an
emergency appointment
at the doctor’s surgery.

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court
Sheriff Colin MaKay accepted
the highly unusual special defence
put forward by the defence agent David Brookens of “non-insane automatism”


Pled not guilty to
Careless driving




Non–insane automatism is when the defendant is unable to control his muscles because they acted without the control of his mind.



Serial drink driver John Molseed aged 43
was spotted driving after being banned for
driving for life and jailed for driving whilst 
drunk taking 38 children on a school bus trip.
At that time he 
was already serving an 8 year ban
when he was caught.

When challenged by a journalist Molseed
claimed that he
successfully appealed to
get his licence back.
Crown Office had
records of an attempt to overturn the
ban at Kilmarnock SC
 but the appeal had failed.

Strathclyde police were investigating


He had used a false name,
John Paterson, to obtain a job
with the bus company. 
The bosses of which had no idea
he had 5 previous convictions for
drink driving
and 3 for driving
whilst disqualified.



Kevin Neil aged 43 hit pensioner
Richard Scott aged 86 who was standing
 beside his broken down van with
a friend George Tait when
Neil’s Nissan Terrano struck and
killed him.

Edinburgh High Court
Judge Rodger Craik QC
said he took into account
the unusual nature of the case.


Found guilty of causing death
by dangerous driving


2 year custodial sentence
5 year driving ban


New offence



Malcolm Bell aged 78 years
driving a Toyota people carrier with
7 elderly passengers overtook
when it was not safe to do so when
he struck the car in which Mr & Mrs Wood
were traveling home
from holiday, killing 84 year old Mr woods
and 83 year old Mrs Wood 3 weeks later.

Dumfries Sheriff Court
Sheriff Kenneth Ross said
community service was
a reasonable
alternative to jail.


Plead guilty to new charge of causing death by careless
driving Section 2B RTA


200 hours community service  
4 year driving ban.


New offence



Lillian Kenny aged 43 who was driving
unlicensed and uninsured turned into the path
of motorcyclist Martin Swanson aged
43 years killing him and seriously injuring
his son who was a pillion passenger.

Glasgow Sheriff Court
Sheriff Convery said,
“not only were you behind
 the wheel but you had a previous
conviction for driving unlicensed and
 uninsured from 2006”

Plead guilty to
Section 3ZB
causing death
whilst driving unlicensed
and uninsured

9 month custodial sentence
2 year ban from driving.




Graham Reid aged 45 caused his
van to veer on to the wrong side of the
 road crashing into the on coming car
killing Elena Putman aged 18, her sister
Rachel aged 20 and her boyfriend
Mark Gardiner aged 22


Banff Sheriff Court,
Sheriff Patrick Davis
said he had to set aside
 the consequences and
 he was disadvantaged because
no one knew what led to the crash.


Pled guilty to
careless driving
section 3 of RTA.
Reid said he didn’t know
if he fell asleep or not.


640 fine 6 month driving ban. Family said he had
 been driving since the crash
and they thought that was wrong. Solicitor for the Gardiner
 family said the families’
grief was compounded by
the sense of injustice over the
outcome of the proceedings.



Andrew Ramsay aged 50 killed
Gavin Sutherland aged 41 when Ramsey’s
truck hit Gavin’s stationary recovery van
and the lorry he was working on.
The lorry driver was also injured.


Glasgow High Court Lord Brailsford said
in this case “There was a prolonged
persistent and deliberate course of bad
 driving”  ”The lights of the
recovery vehicle were
visible to an oncoming
vehicle such as yours for something
in the order of - 1 mile”

Pled not guilty to causing
death by dangerous
driving section 1 RTA
Pled guilty to careless driving
 which was not accepted by
the Crown.


30 month custodial sentence




Maureen Duguid aged 43 attempted to
 overtake in her 4x4 when she ploughed
into 3 cars and killed of 77 year old
Catherine  Wilson.

Aberdeen High Court Crown accepted
plea of careless driving Lord Woolman
said he must sentence her on that basis.

Pled not guilty to causing death
by dangerous driving
Section 1 RTA
guilty to careless driving.

1000 fine banned from
driving for 1 year


New Offence



Arthur Botterill aged 63 coach driver
killed passenger Kevin Mykoliw mechanic
 aged 37 when he ploughed into a trailer.


Inverness Sheriff Court
Sheriff Alastair MacFadyen
said the accident was caused by
“momentary inattention”


Pled guilty to
causing death
by careless driving section
2B of the RTA


210 hours community service banned from driving for 3 years
Family said the sentence
was “a joke”


New Offence

1st Not guilty plea



On the Isle of Arran, Nick Underdown
aged 28 rounded a bend and ploughed
into cyclists killing Elspeth Kelman
aged 59  and seriously injuring
67 year old  Rev Leith Fisher.
The cyclists were on an annual cycle
ride to honour Elspeth’s
husband who had died from cancer in 1994.

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court
Sheriff Seith Ireland
The police crash
investigators said
”He failed to maintain
 proper control of the vehicle”
and “his actions were careless”

Pled not guilty to the new
charge of Causing death
by careless driving

 SCID comments
on New

Jury returned a verdict
of Not Proven




Learner driver Marcus Brown aged 38,
who had failed his test 2 weeks before, overtook on a bend  and crashed into
an oncoming car killing  father of two, 
Kenneth McLeod aged 44.


High Court Glasgow
Lord Turnbull said that Brown
was responsible for taking the life of
a man in the prime of his life. Crash
 investigators concluded that that Brown
had attempted to overtake when it was
unsafe to do so

Pled guilty to
Causing death by
dangerous driving


Custodial sentence of
5 year and 7 months
Banned from driving for 7 years
and resit driving test.
Previous convictions for violence
 and dishonesty and was jailed for
5 years in 1992 for
assault and robbery.



Alan Duffus aged 62 was racing his
powerful BMW Z4 car with his co-accused
Grant Whyte aged 22 when Whyte
mounted the pavement in his Corsa car
killing 67 year old Senga Elder.


High Court Edinburgh
Judge Lady Dorrian said
of Duffus “at your age
and background of previous convictions
you should be only too
aware of the possible


Duffus pled
not guilty
to Causing death
by dangerous


Jury cleared Duffus of Causing
 death by dangerous driving
and convicted him of the lesser
 charge of merely dangerous
driving. Sentenced to 240 hours
community service and banned
from driving for 10 years 
Whyte was given a 6 year
custodial entence and banned
from driving for 10 years

In 1980 Duffus was fined 2500 and banned from driving for 3 years for causing the death of his 23 year old passenger Jaqueline Crombie in his Jaguar by reckless driving.
In 1983 less than 3 months after he got his licence back, Duffus crashed his motorbike into the back of a family car killing Rebecca Knought aged 61. He was charged with causing Rebecca’s death by reckless driving but was convicted by jury of merely careless driving. He was fined 250 and given another 3 year ban.



Stuart McGill aged 27 killed his girlfriend
aged 19 in a high speed crash and was jailed
in 2006 for 3 years and 9 months. He was
also banned from driving for 7 years i.e.
until 2013

He appeared at Glasgow High Court
seeking early removal of his
driving disqualification


McGill’s lawyer said he wanted
to secure work as a fork lift


Ban lifted


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