Not Careless Driving

Kept Licence
Stranraer Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court

This was a rather unusual case, in that the Crown alleged our client had ridden his motorcycle carelessly by travelling at a speed unsuitable for the road, failed to keep control and subsequently crashed at a tight bend on a rural road.  The only witnesses to the accident, or people able to speak to the quality of the driving, were the accused and his partner on pillion who were on a touring holiday of Scotland enjoying a leisurely trip in the Galloway Forest.

The defence position was quite clear: this was a simple accident caused by gravel strewn across the road at the corner’s apex, with no opportunity for a motorcyclist to anticipate the problem.  Credibility was emboldened by the fact that our client was a qualified motorcycle instructor with a hitherto unblemished record and riding experience of some 50 years!  This was explained at length to the prosecution but our entreaties to them fell on deaf ears; they were adamant that criminal fault lay with our client and were determined to secure a conviction.

Ultimately, when it came to the trial there was no need to get as far as defence evidence because the deficiencies in the Crown’s case resulted in our ‘no case to answer’ submission being upheld and our client acquitted.  The presiding Justice agreed that the prosecution, upon whom the onus of proof beyond reasonable doubt lies, was unable to provide an explanation for the incident that proved his riding was its cause.  In these circumstances, there is no requirement for the accused’s exculpatory evidence to be heard.

Published: 11/02/2020

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See also

Careless Driving Charge Deserted

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