South Scotland

Dumfries man cleared of Gorleston couple's fatal crash charge

John and Sharon Cooper Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption John and Sharon Cooper died in the crash in Dumfries and Galloway in May 2017

A 73-year-old motorist has been cleared by a jury of causing the deaths of a couple by careless driving.

Terence Dillon, of Dumfries, had denied committing the offence on the A76 near Sanquhar.

John Cooper, 58, and Sharon Cooper, 56, of Gorleston in Norfolk, were travelling on a motorbike when they died in the accident in May 2017.

A jury at Dumfries Sheriff Court returned a verdict of not proven after a four-day trial.

The court heard how the couple had been attending a Harley Davidson rally in Perth and were making a trip to Culzean Castle when the accident occurred.

Mr Dillon was heading home from a youth football tournament in Ayr with members of his family.

He denied driving without due care and attention and told the court he had heard a bang and could not control the Land Rover which crossed the road onto the verge and hit a tree.

Sheriff Brian Mohan described the case as a tragedy for both families and gave his condolences to the dead couple's relatives and friends who had sat through the trial.

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