HMA v ANDREW DAVID FILE

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 22 September 2014, Lady Rae sentenced Andrew File to three years in prison and disqualified him from driving for five years after he was convicted of causing death by careless driving.

On sentencing, Lady Rae made the following statement in court:

“Andrew David File, you have been convicted of driving carelessly and causing the death of a lady holidaying in Scotland with her husband who was also injured. You have left a family in deep mourning over the death of a beloved mother and spouse and this all because of your irresponsible driving.

I appreciate that due to your injuries you say that you have no recollection of the incident but the evidence at trial disclosed that you were driving at speed and in excess of the speed limit for some time prior to the fatal collision.

I appreciate the main issue in this case was your transgression into the opposing carriageway which caused Mr Vaillant to take evasive action and resulted in him leaving the road and ending up in a field with his wife dead beside him. However the charge also included the allegation that you were driving at excessive speed and it is clear from the evidence that you were in a hurry to get to your ultimate destination. 

In my view this was not a case of minor momentary inattention. There was no suggestion of loss of control. Thus you were in control of your vehicle. That leads to the obvious conclusion that you must have deliberately crossed the centre line and into the carriageway of opposing traffic. Why you did that, no one will ever know but that was a fatal decision.

I realise that this collision has had a devastating effect on your life as well and the consequences following that collision and this sentence today will have an adverse impact on your family but in view of the particular circumstances disclosed in course of the trial I have no option but to impose a custodial sentence. 

I shall take account of your obvious and genuine remorse. I shall have particular regard to personal circumstances and to your previous good character and steady work record.

I shall disqualify you from driving for a period of five years and order you to re-sit a driving test.

I shall also impose a period of imprisonment of three years to date from today.”