A CRIEFF motorist who pled guilty by letter to a dangerous driving charge without taking legal advice has been given the chance to consult a solicitor.
Trainee dental technician James Hughes (49), of Boyd Avenue, had his sentence deferred at Perth Sheriff Court this week until October 6.
He had been ordered to appear personally for sentence after pleading guilty by letter to driving dangerously and at excessive speed on the Crieff-Perth road.
The incident took place on the A85, near New Fowlis, on June 23, when he overtook other vehicles.
In doing so, he crossed a solid white line, which indicated no overtaking, lost control of his car and it swerved off the road.
In a letter to the court, he said it was “never his intention” to overtake all the vehicles in the line of traffic.
He added: “From the low driving position of my wife’s car, which I was driving, there looked to be a gap in the line of traffic ahead of me.
“However, on executing the overtaking manoeuvre, it very quickly became apparent that there was no such gap.
“One of the vehicles was towing a trailer that was previously not visible to me.”
On realising that, there were two options open to him – to brake hard and return to the end of the line of cars or continue his overtaking manoeuvre.
The latter required more time and a greater distance to complete.
He chose the latter and that explained his excessive speed and the crossing of the white lines.
“Unfortunately I made the wrong decision although, in reality, one does not have time to think with any clarity when things start to go drastically wrong.”
He pointed out he had been driving for over 30 years and had a clean licence.
He fully realised the “enormity” of his actions and the resulting consequences for himself, his wife and family.
Hughes took the opportunity to get legal advice after Sheriff Lindsay Foulis told him he would have to be disqualified for a minimum of 12 months – and also re-sit his driving test.
“It may be you were not aware of that,” added the Sheriff.