Trial de­lay for hor­ror smash ac­cused

Hear­ing told de­fence ex­pert out of the coun­try

Strathearn Herald - - CABER CHALLENGE - Court Re­porter

The trial of a bus driver, ac­cused of be­ing at the wheel of a dou­ble decker in­volved in a hor­ror crash in Cri­eff al­most two years ago, has been de­layed un­til next month.

Twenty-six-year-old Stage­coach driver Fraser McGre­gor, of Brig­ton Cot­tage, Glen­carse, was to have faced trial at a jury sit­ting which opened at Perth Sher­iff Court on Mon­day, Au­gust 14.

But that has now been put off un­til Septem­ber 18.

Perth Sher­iff Court was told that the de­fence wanted to ad­dress what were de­scribed as “short­com­ings” in a re­port pre­pared for them by an ex­pert wit­ness.

Mr McGre­gor has de­nied driv­ing the bus dan­ger­ously in Broich Road, Cri­eff, on Novem­ber 6, 2015.

It is al­leged that he mounted the pave­ment, col­lided with Lena Tocher and pinned her against a wall, caus­ing se­ri­ous in­jury.

The de­fence wanted the trial ad­journed out of the lat­est two-week sher­iff and jury sit­ting.

But Sher­iff Gil­lian Wade said she wasn’t pre­pared to grant that mo­tion at that point.

In­stead, she con­tin­ued mat­ters un­til Wed­nes­day morn­ing the same week and mean­time said she wanted “ur­gent steps taken” to ad­dress the short­com­ing iden­ti­fied by the de­fence.

De­pute fis­cal John Mal­pass said that the Crown op­posed the ad­journ­ment mo­tion given the lengthy pro­ce­dural his­tory of the case.

He pointed out that the ac­cused had first ap­peared in pri­vate, charged with dan­ger­ous driv­ing, at the Perth court on April 19, 2016.

There had been dis­cus­sions with the de­fence, how­ever, which had en­abled cer­tain facts to be agreed, thus re­duc­ing the num­ber of po­ten­tial wit­nesses from 46 to 11.

The court was told on the Wed­nes­day that the de­fence ex­pert was “out of the coun­try” at the mo­ment and wasn’t ex­pected back un­til Septem­ber 11.

In view of the cir­cum­stances, Sher­iff Wade moved to grant the re­quested ad­journ­ment.

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