Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Death crash tourist to carry out 500 hours of charity work

Elizabeth Henderson Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Elizabeth Henderson, 83, died from her injuries

A tourist who killed a pensioner after driving on the wrong side of the road in East Lothian has agreed to carry out 500 hours of charity work.

Caroline Emmet, who lives in Paris, was found guilty last month of causing the death of Elizabeth Henderson, 83, by dangerous driving.

She was driving on the A198 in July 2017 when her car hit an oncoming vehicle on a blind corner.

Sentence was deferred after she agreed to carry out unpaid work in France.

Emmet - who is the granddaughter of composer Irving Berlin - had previously offered to plead guilty to causing death by careless driving, but was prosecuted for the more serious offence.

The trial heard how the 56-year-old was travelling to Edinburgh Airport with two other women and two children when the crash happened on the North Berwick to Tranent road, near a junction with Archerfield Estate.

Mrs Henderson, from North Berwick, died two days after the crash in hospital after suffering multiple pelvis and limb fractures and internal bleeding.

Her husband William, who was driving, and another passenger in his vehicle, Christine Fraser, were also injured.

Emmet, an American citizen who is resident in France, told the court she had never driven on the left hand side of the road prior to the trip to Scotland for a friend's birthday.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The crash occurred on the A198 near the Archerfield Estate in East Lothian

Lord Glennie told Emmet: "You have been convicted by the jury of causing death by dangerous driving. Your victim was in her 80s and possibly quite frail, but that in no way diminishes the sense of loss felt by those close to her."

He banned Emmet from driving for three years and ordered she re-sit a test before driving again.

The judge said he accepted that Emmet's offending did not feature aggravating issues such as drink or drug driving, driving too fast or using a mobile phone.

He said Emmet's previous driving record was exemplary and added: "You have shown remorse which I accept is genuine."

The judge said he also took account of the needs of her child. Emmet provides care for her 14-year-old son who has suffered medical problems from a young age.

Lord Glennie said he considered that if Emmet did unpaid work with two charities in France it would be "worthwhile and important work".

Sentence was deferred until November 2020. If offenders say out of trouble pending a deferred sentence, a judge will normally given them a less severe sentence.

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