HMA v Kyle Gary Stewart

At Dundee Sheriff Court today, 5 August 2019, Sheriff Thomas Hughes sentenced Kyle Stewart to two years’ imprisonment after the accused was found guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

On sentencing, Sheriff Hughes made the following statement in court:

“Kyle Gary Stewart, you have been convicted of a contravention of section 1A of the Road Traffic Act 1988. The jury have found you guilty of causing serious injury to Alan Cosgrove and Thomas Cosgrove whilst you w re driving motor car registration number SK53 WTW in the area of Newtyle in Angus.

“You drove your motor vehicle dangerously, overtaking several vehicles at speed when it was not safe to do so.

“You travelled along the opposing carriageway in the face of an oncoming vehicle occupied by Alan Cosgrove and Thomas Cosgrove causing a collision and their serious injury.

“The jury heard evidence that you worked in a garage nearby and you drove along that road on a daily basis. You obviously knew how dangerous that road was.

“This was a category B road and it was quite clear that it had a maximum speed limit of 60mph.

“You indicated to the jury that at the time when this incident happened you were driving a customer's car and it later transpired that the vehicle's tyres were defective and there was a problem with its ABS.

“You claimed that a vehicle being driven by the witness, Mr Craig, had caused you to swerve into the opposite carriageway. You told the jury that Mr Craig had attempted to turn left without giving you adequate warning. All of this was rejected by the jury.

“The court heard from a retired detective constable, Caroline Parker, who indicated that she was concerned by the manner in which you had overtaken her own vehicle. She claimed that you are driving at speeds of at least between 70 and 80mph along this country road. As you turned round a blind corner she thought, ‘Laddie you are going to kill yourself’.

“Other witnesses gave evidence of your excessive speed on a particularly difficult stretch of road.

“Mr Craig himself gave evidence to the effect that he had no intentions of turning left and only became aware of your vehicle after you attempted to overtake him at speed. He watched in horror as your vehicle collided into another car being driven by Mr Cosgrove.

“He told the jury that he was extremely worried by the wreckage he could see from his rear-view mirror and said that he was afraid  to return to the car in question as he was certain that he was about to find fatalities.

“Both Alan and Thomas Cosgrove gave evidence with great dignity. They recalled how they were involved in this horrific incident.

“They had turned round a blind bend and noted a line of vehicles in the opposite carriageway with your car coming towards them at speed in their lane.

“Eventually your car could not be distinguished because of the considerable amount of smoke and grit coming from the road.

“Alan Cosgrove closed his eyes and thought that he and his son Thomas were about to be killed. They did suffer significant injuries as a result of being involved in this matter.

“I have had the benefit of reading the victim impact statements from both. Alan Cosgrove suffered a significant injury to his left knee joint. His torso was massively bruised from neck downwards.

“He was hospitalised for some time. He was eventually discharged from hospital. He had to continue using the crutches for three months followed by eight months using a walking stick.

“He has suffered considerable trauma and post-traumatic stress as a result of your dangerous driving. He only drives when necessary and relies on others to help him at this time.

“Thomas Cosgrove suffered a fracture to his left wrist, injury to his fingers and a fracture to his right ankle. He still suffers daily pain as a result of your actions.

“After working for a short period of time he suffers discomfort and he has a limp. He also suffers post­ traumatic stress disorder.

“I have had the benefit of reading your criminal justice social work report and a restriction of liberty order assessment. The report suggests that a non-custodial sentence would be appropriate in this case.

“I have also had the benefit of reading references from your former employer, from your mother and I have read a letter from you suggesting that you are remorseful about what happened in this case.

“I am however concerned by the fact that notwithstanding your expressions of remorse, you still blame Mr Craig for the incident.

“You refuse to accept the responsibility for your own actions. You claim that you were forced to swerve into the opposite carriageway to avoid a collision and you were unable to break on time.

“The author of the report has based its recommendations on the information available to him and had suggested that a non-custodial sentence could be imposed in this case.

“I do not accept that. You have been convicted of a very serious offence.

“By your own admission you were driving a customer's car. You did not know it capabilities.

“You later complained that the wheels were defective and that the ABS was not working. Notwithstanding that fact, you drove at excessive speed and in a dangerous fashion.

“You caused serious injury to two innocent individuals. I am aware of the fact that the terms of section 204 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 apply.

“However, I take the view that a custodial sentence is inevitable because of the serious nature of your offending. You shall therefore go to prison for a period of two years.

“This is backdated to 1 July 2019 when you were first remanded in custody. You will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence for a period of five years and ordered to re-sit the extended test of competence.

“You shall be admonished in respect of all other charges with your licence endorsed.”