Tayside and Central Scotland

Driver, 23, who killed biker avoids jail

Dundee Sheriff Court
Image caption Alexander Stirling was banned from driving for 32 months at Dundee Sheriff Court

A driver who killed a biker returning from birthday celebrations has been given an eight-month curfew and banned from the road for 32 months.

Alexander Stirling's BMW crashed into father-of-two Douglas Lawie's motorbike as he rode with a friend near Inverkeilor.

Mr Lawie sustained fatal injuries after he and his bike slid along the carriageway.

Stirling, 23, admitted causing death by careless driving in August last year.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard that Mr Lawie, a businessman from Rothienorman in Aberdeenshire, was returning from his 47th birthday celebration in Alloa at the time of the crash.

Depute fiscal John Adams told the court that Stirling was driving behind a line of cars on the single-carriageway road and "edged out" into the opposite carriageway.

The fiscal said Mr Lawie had no time to react to Stirling's car being on his side of the road.

Catastrophic consequences

Mr Adams said: "The deceased and the motorcycle slid along the carriageway and came to a rest further on.

"The deceased was found breathing and conscious but moaning, obviously in pain and with a broken leg."

Mr Lawie was airlifted to Dundee's Ninewells Hospital, but died shortly afterwards.

Defence counsel Ian Duguid QC said Stirling was "remorseful for his actions and the consequences".

He said: "He is a young man who is never going to forget this."

Sheriff Alastair Brown said: "This was a bad judgement made in circumstances where the consequences were catastrophic.

"A prison sentence would be justified, but you have not been in trouble before and at the guidance and accepted practices of sentencing I must consider if an alternative sentence is available.

"With a little hesitation I've decided that it does."

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