HMA v Scott Hamilton

At the High Court in Stilring, Lord Ericht sentenced Scott Hamilton to one year imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to causing death by careless driving.

On sentencing, Lord Ericht made the following statement in court:

"Mr Wills enjoyed the freedom that his motorised wheelchair gave him.   Almost every day in life he was out and about on the country roads near his home. By your actions you have caused his death and the end of a marriage which his widow said was paradise. That is something you will have to live with for the rest of your life.

You have pled guilty to causing death by careless driving. That is a lesser charge than death by dangerous driving with which you were originally charged, and the sentence will of course reflect that lesser charge.

I have carefully considered everything which Mr Pollock has said on your behalf, and what is stated in the Criminal Justice Social Work Report. I note the circumstances of the incident and that you gave assistance to Mr Wills and your remorse, and I have taken all of these into account. 

At the time of the incident you were well aware of the risk involved in reversing. You had received appropriate training in reversing. Earlier that year you had signed off on Risk Assessments and Safe Working Method documents confirming that you were aware of the dangers of reversing your vehicle, and how to minimise them. You were aware that Mr Wills was somewhere on the road behind you, as you had passed him a few minutes previously. Also, you failed to have proper regard to Mr Wills as a particularly vulnerable road user. 

In these circumstances there is no alternative to a custodial sentence.

Had you not pled guilty, I would have sentenced you to a period of imprisonment of 15  months. As you pled guilty to the lesser charge at the preliminary hearing I sentence you to a period of imprisonment of one year, commencing on today’s date.

I disqualify you from driving for a period of 12 months from today’s date."