Fife driver who killed cy­clist is spared prison

Judge ac­cepts Dysart man showed re­morse

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - DAVE FIN­LAY

A mo­torist who killed a cy­clist in Fife af­ter driv­ing care­lessly was spared jail yes­ter­day.

David Gor­don crossed on to the other side of the road to over­take when it was un­safe to do so and col­lided with Gary Christie’s moun­tain bike.

Fa­ther-of-two Mr Christie, 38, was se­ri­ously in­jured in the in­ci­dent and died in hospi­tal two weeks later.

A judge told Gor­don, 56, at the High Court in Ed­in­burgh that he had given se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion to im­pris­on­ing him but reached the view it was nei­ther nec­es­sary nor ap­pro­pri­ate.

Lord Men­zies or­dered that he carry out the max­i­mum amount of 300 hours of un­paid work un­der a com­mu­nity pay­back or­der and banned him from driv­ing for 10 years.

Lord Men­zies said a back­ground re­port showed that Gor­don took full re­spon­si­bil­ity for caus­ing the death by care­less or in­con­sid­er­ate driv­ing.

Gor­don told the au­thor of the re­port that he should have waited un­til he was over the brow of a hill at Car­berry Road, Kirk­caldy, be­fore over­tak­ing a cy­clist trav­el­ling in the same di­rec­tion.

Gor­don, of High Street, Dysart, had of­fered to plead guilty to the of­fence of caus­ing death by care­less driv­ing but that was re­jected by the Crown and he stood trial for caus­ing death by dan­ger­ous driv­ing by driv­ing when the wind­screen was ob­scured and cross­ing over into the op­pos­ing car­riage­way to over­take when it was un­safe.

A jury at the High Court in Ed­in­burgh ear­lier ac­quit­ted him of dan­ger­ous driv­ing and con­victed him of the lesser charge which car­ries a max­i­mum penalty of five years im­pris­on­ment.

Lord Men­zies told Gor­don: “If you had been con­victed of caus­ing death by dan­ger­ous driv­ing it would, I think, have been al­most in­evitable that I would have im­posed a sen­tence of im­pris­on­ment on you.”

He said that in Gor­don’s case there were no drugs, drink, speed­ing or other ag­gra­vat­ing fea­tures in­volved.

He said: “You have ac­cepted full re­spon­si­bil­ity for this ac­ci­dent and you have dis­played re­morse.”

Lord Men­zies added that like the writer of the back­ground re­port he was in­clined to be­lieve that the re­morse shown by Gor­don was gen­uine.

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