Highlands & Islands

Fatal crash accused James Mowat still in hospital

A man accused of causing a car crash in November 2011 which led to his father's death may not be fit to stand trial.

James Mowat, 47, of Croy, near Inverness, has missed a number of court dates because he is still in hospital.

Defence advocate Shahid Latif told the High Court in Edinburgh that he showed signs of "cognitive impairment" and had difficulty with his speech.

It is alleged that as a result of the smash his father, also called James, was fatally injured.

Judge Lord Pentland has fixed another hearing for later this month, allowing prosecution and defence to make further inquiries.

He said: "I hope it will be possible for parties to reach a considered view about where this case is going."

Mr Mowat faces a charge of driving carelessly while unfit through drink or drugs, or an alternative charge which alleges his alcohol level was three and a half times the legal limit when he was driving carelessly.

The indictment alleges that as a result of the crash on the B9091 Croy to Nairn road, near Clephanton, passenger James Mowat was fatally injured.

Mr Mowat's car is said to have failed to take a bend, left the roadway and hit an embankment and a tree.

He also faces charges of failing to report the accident and possessing cannabis.

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