Reck­less driver jailed for crash

Head-on: Pas­sen­ger did not re­cover from in­juries

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ALIS­TAIR MUNRO

A 21-YEAR-OLD Mo­ray man who thought he was “in­vin­ci­ble” on the day he caused a crash that left a 95-year-old grand­mother so badly in­jured she later died was jailed for six months yes­ter­day.

Nathan Stewart, of Lossiemouth, drove dan­ger­ously at ex­ces­sive speeds and around blind bends be­fore his ve­hi­cle col­lided with an on­com­ing car.

El­gin Sher­iff Court was told grand­mother Joyce Conachar, a pas­sen­ger in the other ve­hi­cle, suf­fered hor­ren­dous in­juries, spent four months in hospi­tal and needed 24-hour care af­ter the crash. She died sev­eral months later, in June last year.

Sher­iff Chris Dick­son told Stewart: “This was a pro­longed, per­sis­tent and de­lib­er­ate course of bad driv­ing where you went around bends with­out know­ing whether there was an­other ve­hi­cle com­ing the other way.

“As a re­sult an elderly woman sus­tained se­ri­ous in­jury and sadly did not re­cover.”

De­fence lawyer Stephen Carty said: “Mr Stewart was fool­hardy. He was guilty, as many young men are, of think­ing he was in­vin­ci­ble.”

A 21-year-old man whose “ap­palling driv­ing” caused a head-on crash that left an elderly woman se­ri­ously in­jured was jailed for six months yes­ter­day.

Nathan Stewart lost con­trol while speed­ing dan­ger­ously around blind bends on a Mo­ray road and col­lided with an on­com­ing car.

El­gin Sher­iff Court was told the crash hap­pened on the B9010 Kel­las to Raf­ford road, near an un­clas­si­fied road through Mil­ton­duff, on Oc­to­ber 11, 2016.

In the car he struck was pas­sen­ger Joyce Conacher, a 95-year-old grand­mother who never re­cov­ered from her in­juries and later died.

Sher­iff Chris Dick­son told Stewart, of Queen Street in Lossiemouth: “This was ap­palling driv­ing.

“This was a pro­longed, per­sis­tent and de­lib­er­ate course of bad driv­ing where you went around bends with­out know­ing there was an­other ve­hi­cle com­ing the other way.

“As a re­sult of the col­li­sion oth­ers sus­tained in­jury and an elderly woman sus­tained se­ri­ous in­jury and sadly did not re­cover.”

Stewart had pre­vi­ously ad­mit­ted driv­ing dan­ger­ously at ex­ces­sive speed round bends while both front tyres were de­void of tread, be­fore los­ing con­trol and col­lid­ing with an on­com­ing car.

Procu­ra­tor fis­cal Alex Swain said Stewart had picked up a young woman, Tabitha Driver, from El­gin to go out for a drive on the af­ter­noon of the col­li­sion.

Miss Driver de­scribed his driv­ing as “reck­less and dan­ger­ous” and that at one point she was moved to ask him how he knew there was no on­com­ing traf­fic.

He ap­par­ently replied “It’s just a chance you’ve got to take.”

A short time later, his car ploughed into the ve­hi­cle be­ing driven by Francesca Stu­art, whose grand­mother Joyce Conachar was a pas­sen­ger.

As a re­sult of the crash, Mrs Conachar suf­fered four bro­ken ribs and an ar­ray of cuts and bruises that forced her to stay in hospi­tal for four months.

Miss Swain added: “Cou­pled with her age, Mrs Conachar was not able to fully re­cover.

“When she was re­leased she re­quired 24-hour care and sub­se­quently passed away on June 12, 2017.”

De­fence lawyer Stephen Carty had asked the court not to send his client to prison, say­ing Stewart was now in a re­la­tion­ship, had a young son and had “ma­tured” since the ac­ci­dent.

He added: “Mr Stewart re­grets ev­ery­thing that hap­pened. He is guilty, as many young men are, of think­ing he is in­vin­ci­ble.”

Stewart was banned for three years and or­dered to re­sit his test to get his li­cence back af­ter the ban.

“Mr Stewart re­grets ev­ery­thing that hap­pened”

HEAD­ING FOR PRISON: Nathan Stewart caused a crash which left a 95-year-old grand­mother so badly in­jured she later died

‘AP­PALLING’: Nathan Stewart lost con­trol of his car and hit an on­com­ing ve­hi­cle

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