Tayside and Central Scotland

Pensioner sentenced over fatal error crash in Falkirk

Falkirk Sheriff Court
Image caption Falkirk Sheriff Court was told Mackintosh would never drive again

A pensioner whose driving mistake caused the death of a disabled neighbour near her home in Falkirk has been given a community sentence.

A court heard Mary Mackintosh, 68, started the engine of her brother-in-law's BMW car without checking the gear lever was in neutral.

The vehicle leapt forwards and rammed Martha Tait's mobility scooter, throwing her onto the street.

Mrs Tait, 71, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The incident happened in Camelon on 24 March last year.

Mackintosh pleaded guilty at Falkirk Sheriff Court to causing Mrs Tait's death by careless driving.

The court was told she had volunteered to move her brother-in-law's car because it was blocking her drive.

However, she turned the ignition on without checking if the car was in gear and if the handbrake was fully on.

'Great remorse'

As a result, the car "jumped" forwards and collided with the rear of Mrs Tait's scooter before rolling on top of her as she lay on the tarmac.

Mackintosh's plea of not guilty to a second charge, of causing death with an uninsured vehicle, was accepted by the prosecution.

Defence solicitor Andy Bryson said Mackintosh had been "shattered" by the incident.

He said: "She hasn't driven since, and will not drive again."

Summary Sheriff Derek Livingston ordered Mackintosh to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work and disqualified her from driving for four years.

He told her: "I accept you have shown great remorse, but by not checking the gears and making sure the handbrake was fully on you caused a tragedy.

"It may be the family of Mrs Tait does not consider the punishment fits the crime, but the condolences of the court are extended to them."

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