Glasgow & West Scotland

James Fergusson jailed for causing death of Julian Kneeshaw

A motorist who was described as "an accident waiting to happen" has been jailed after his dangerous driving led to the death of a man.

James Fergusson's car avoided the two-car crash which claimed the life of Julian Kneeshaw.

However, the collision happened after he made a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre on the A85 near Dalmally.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Fergusson, 57, was sentenced to four years in prison.

The court heard that Fergusson overtook cars approaching a bend and the driver of an oncoming car, who was travelling with Mr Kneeshaw, took evasive action to avoid a collision and braked sharply.

The car veered on to a grass verge, spun across the road into the opposite carriageway and crashed along with another vehicle.

Mr Kneeshaw, a 44-year-old carpenter from Tobermory, died as a result of chest injuries sustained in the collision.

Fergusson, a renewable energy technician from Oban, had denied causing Mr Kneeshaw's death by dangerous driving but he was earlier found guilty of the offence.

'Devastating effect'

During the trial, retired BT engineer Geoff Miller, 68, said he had been driving with two vehicles in front of him when he was overtaken by Fergusonn's Ford Focus.

"It cut in in front of me. I had to brake in order to alter my speed. At that particular time I thought it was a bit of a silly thing to do," he told the court.

He said the Focus had then pulled out to overtake another car in front and he realised the driver was not going to come back onto his side of the road but was going to go on and pass a further car.

Mr Miller said: "That's when I had a thought: 'You are an accident waiting to happen'."

He then witnessed the collision involving the Daewoo driven by Mr Kneeshaw's partner.

Fergusson told the court that he considered he was able to overtake the two vehicles because there was "sufficient physical room to do so safely and promptly".

His defence counsel said he was remorseful and "regrets the loss of life".

Judge Lady Stacey told Fergusson that his dangerous driving had a "devastating effect" on the family of his victim.

She also banned him from driving for five years and ordered he sit an extended test before getting his licence back.

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