Drink driver thanks sheriff for leniency

Campbeltown Sheriff Court.
Campbeltown Sheriff Court.

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A young Islay fisherman thanked the sheriff politely after being fined and disqualified for drink driving.

Matthew Ross, aged 23, of 8 Daal Terrace, Port Charlotte, received reduced fines and a shorter disqualification because he pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity after crashing his mother’s car into a wall by the A846, near Bridgend on the island, on March 28 this year; he also admitted driving without a licence and without insurance.

Procurator fiscal depute James Dunbar said at Campbeltown Sheriff Court last week that a member of the public called 999 after the crash.

Police and the fire service attended; smoke was coming from the car which was badly damaged at the front.

The fiscal said: ‘Police observed the accused. He appeared unsteady on his feet and as he got closer they could smell alcohol and he was slurring his words.

‘He told them he was drunk, didn’t have a licence and the vehicle was his mother’s.’

Ross failed the roadside breath test and back at the police station blew 51 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath; the legal limit is 22.

Ross’s defence agent said: ‘He owned up at the first opportunity. He is a self-employed fisherman and continues to live on Islay.’

He added: ‘He takes full responsibility. He was not in a good place mentally, this explains his conduct; he has sought help and apologises to all involved.’

Ross had also seen that the wall was repaired.

Sheriff Patrick Hughes fined him £350 for drink driving; £100 for having no licence and £200 for no insurance, with a £40 victim surcharge, with a disqualification of 12 months.

As he left the dock, Ross said: ‘Thank you very much for your leniency.’