NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Man who caused cyclist death in Aberdeen ordered to do unpaid work

Neil Jaffrey Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Neil Jaffrey died after the collision on North Anderson Drive in September 2014.

A motorist who admitted causing the death of a cyclist by driving carelessly in Aberdeen has been ordered to carry out unpaid work.

Stephen Cocker, 51, lost control of his silver BMW while overtaking a bus and hit father-of-three Neil Jaffrey.

The 32-year-old died after the collision on North Anderson Drive in September 2014.

At Aberdeen Sheriff Court, Cocker was told to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work.

He was also disqualified from driving for three years.

'Deep remorse'

Defence agent David Sutherland said the "split second" decision Cocker had taken had left him racked with "regret, sorrow and deep remorse".

Mr Sutherland added: "Mr Cocker knows what happened that day will live with him for the rest of his life.

"He lives with this moment every waking minute."

Image copyright Newsline Media
Image caption Stephen Cocker admitted driving carlessly

The court heard that there was no "excessive speed" involved in the accident and no explanation had been given as to why Cocker lost control of the car as road conditions were "unremarkable".

He ended up mounting the central reservation then travelled diagonally across the northbound carriageway before colliding with Mr Jaffrey.

Mr Jaffrey's family sat in the public gallery as Cocker was sentenced.

Sheriff William Summers said it was "impossible" to ignore their loss when determining his fate.

'Much loved'

But he added that it came down to culpability and that he found in the circumstances that jail was not the most appropriate way to deal with the case.

The sheriff said: "It goes without saying that Mr Jaffrey's family will feel their loss for the rest of their lives.

Image caption The crash happened on North Anderson Drive

"This is a sad and tragic case for all concerned."

At the time of the accident, Mr Jaffrey's three children included seven-week-old twins.

His wife said at the time: "He was much loved by us all and will be greatly missed."

Mr Jaffrey, who worked for Baker Oil Tools, was originally from the Insch area and attended Insch Primary School and the Gordon Schools in Huntly.

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