Rachael, 20, killed by rac­ing drug-driver as she made trip home

The Scotsman - - Features - JoHN robert­SoN

A RAC­ING mo­torist was un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs when he caused the death of a young woman in a high-speed col­li­sion, a court has heard.

Brian Red­fern, 27, and the driver of an­other car were bumper to bumper and trav­el­ling at about 75mph on a coun­try road as they over­took a ve­hi­cle in their path.

Red­fern lost con­trol of his Vaux­hall As­tra and smashed into a car com­ing in the op­po­site di­rec­tion, caus­ing in­stantly fa­tal in­juries to its driver, Rachael Ward, 20.

Later, tests re­vealed he had taken am­phet­a­mine, which is known to in­crease risk-tak­ing among driv­ers.

Red­fern, of Stoney­acre, Til­li­coul­try in Clack­man­nan­shire, ad­mit­ted caus­ing the death of Ms Ward, also Til­li­coul­try, on 16 Jan­uary by driv­ing dan­ger­ously while un­der the in­flu­ence of am­phet­a­mine. He will be sen­tenced next month, but was told by a judge to ex­pect a “sub­stan­tial” jail term.

Craig Law­son, snaughton, near pleaded guilty to 21, of Coal

Til­li­coul­try, a charge of dan­ger­ous driv­ing. He will be sen­tenced later.

The High Court in Ed­in­burgh heard the col­li­sion hap­pened on the A908 Al­loa-Til­li­coul­try road about 6:30pm on a Satur­day.

Ad­vo­cate-de­pute An­drew Ste­wart, QC, said Red­fern and Law­son were un­known to each other. Ms Ward was alone in her Citroën Saxo, driv­ing home from work.

Mr Ste­wart said a driver had to swerve to avoid Red­fern’s car, which was over the white lines in the mid­dle of the road. Next, his ve­hi­cle was seen with Law­son’s sil­ver Vaux­hall Vectra be­hind it. Both were speed­ing.

A man driv­ing in the same di­rec­tion no­ticed the two cars in his rear-view mir­ror. They were on the wrong side of the road, over­tak­ing him. Law­son was now in front.

“Red­fern was driv­ing bumper to bumper to the back of Law­son’s car,” said Mr Ste­wart.

The man had seen the Citroën Saxo ap­proach­ing in the op­po­site di­rec­tion, and slowed down to give the over­tak­ing cars more time to re­turn to their cor­rect side of the road. Law­son com­pleted the ma­noeu­vre. Red­fern pulled in, but sud­denly veered back to the wrong side of the road and hit the Saxo.


Ms Ward was found to be dead at the scene. A pas­sen­ger in Red­fern’s car, Stacey Ross, 17, had to be cut free by fire­fight­ers. She suf­fered mul­ti­ple frac­tures.

Mr Ste­wart said Red­fern tested pos­i­tive for am­phet­a­mine. In large enough doses, the drug in­creased ac­ci­dents, pri­mar­ily due to risk-tak­ing. Ms Ward’s car had been do­ing about 25mph, but Red­fern’s speed had been 62mph at the point of im­pact. Marks on the road showed he had braked from 74-77mph im­me­di­ately be­fore the crash.

Lord Tyre said Red­fern’s driv­ing had been ut­terly reck­less

Pic­ture: Cen­tral Po­lice

Rachael Ward was found to be dead at the scene

Brian Red­fern: pleaded guilty and ex­pressed “re­morse”

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