Glasgow & West Scotland

Phillip Hogg jailed for killing biker James Burns

Phillip Hogg
Image caption Philip Hogg had been drinking before the crash but was not over the legal limit

A man who has previous convictions for drink driving and driving without a licence has been jailed for 12 months for killing a biker.

Phillip Hogg's Alfa Romeo hit 53-year-old James Burns' motorbike head-on on the A70 Kilmarnock to Edinburgh road, near Carnwath, on 7 September 2011.

Hogg, 43, who had been drinking but was under the legal limit, claimed he had swerved to avoid hitting a deer.

Following a trial, he was found guilty of causing death by careless driving.

Hogg, from South Queensferry, Edinburgh, was originally charged with causing death by dangerous driving but was convicted of the lesser charge following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Jailing him at the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Brodie banned Hogg from driving for three years and told him the only appropriate sentence was a 12-month custodial one.

'Much missed'

The judge said: "Your blood alcohol was just below the legal limit for driving.

"Your careless driving has therefore had the result of taking away one life. It has also had an enormous impact on the lives of others.

"That is clear from the terms of the victim impact statements provided by James Burns' father and sister."

Lord Brodie said Mr Burns was "very much missed" by his family and no sentence could replace their loss.

During the trial, Hogg claimed he had swerved onto the wrong side of the road to avoid what he thought was a deer.

He told the jury it was raining heavily and added: "A black shadow became apparent to me through the spray.

"The angle I saw it the shadow appeared to be moving into my path. It looked like it was going from one side to another. I thought it was a deer."

Hogg said there was an impact - which he could not remember clearly - and his car became airborne and landed on its roof.

He was asked by advocate depute Andrew Brown QC, prosecuting, when he became aware it was not a deer he had hit and said it was two weeks later when his then girlfriend Katy Penman, who was a passenger in his car, was interviewed by police.

Other witnesses spoke of Hogg - who admitted having one glass of white wine before setting off from Roberton, South Lanarkshire - overtaking a car when he crashed into the bike.

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