Dangerous Driving, Perth, 14 June 2017, Not Guilty
Any case of dangerous driving in Scotland which involves police officers as direct eye-witnesses usually spells trouble for the accused. Police officers are trained to give evidence in court, often do so and tend to be more polished courtroom performers than civilians. This dangerous driving case involved both police and civilian eye witnesses; however it was the police witnesses that swung the case in favour of our client.
The allegation suggested that our client overtook when it was unsafe to do so, in the face of an oncoming car. That car had to brake and a police car, travelling behind that car, smashed into the back of it. Our client was held responsible for everything, including the smash. Clearly the police officers should have been keeping a safe enough distance to allow for this kind of eventuality. What made things even more unbelievable was that these self-same officers proceeded to carry out the interviews of the other (civilian) eye witnesses. A cynic may think they were trying to ensure that evidence and memories were tainted in a way prejudicial to our client.
Under cross-examination, the first police witness was eventually forced to admit that the collision was their fault, not that of our client. Our client was still guilty of causing the other – civilian – vehicle to brake but she had been willing to concede that from the very beginning. While an error, it was the resultant smash that ensured this case was dangerous driving.
In the end our client was acquitted of dangerous driving and received 6 points for the lower-end offence of careless driving.
This case was defended by Steven Farmer at Perth Sheriff Court on 14 June 2017.