Audrey Thom died in hospital after a head-on collision in Fife
Andrew Reilly made no attempt to brake or steer to avoid a head-on collision with a car in which Audrey Thom, 58, was a passenger. Mrs Thom, from the Leuchars area of Fife, died in hospital despite her condition initially being described as “not obviously life-threatening”.
Judge Michael O’Grady QC told Reilly: “This court has emphasised time and again, that driving of this sort is so obviously dangerous and foolhardy and irresponsible.
“It has time and again warned young men of the consequences for others and, indeed, them and yet I sometimes despair that that message will ever be heeded.”
The judge at the High Court in Edinburgh added: “Of cases such as this, it is invariably said – because it is invariably true – that they are especially tragic. The court is faced with a young man who has, in a few moments of recklessness, caused the death of another entirely innocent and unsuspecting person.
Andrew Reilly, who made no attempt to avoid the crash, was jailed for four years
“There is no escaping the gravity of what you have done and the dreadful consequences which flow from it. When all is said and done, a woman has lost her life, has been taken from her family and there is no diminishing the emptiness and grief of that.”
Driving of this sort is so obviously dangerous and foolhardy and irresponsible
Judge Michael O’Grady QC
The judge said: “I should also stress that the sentence I impose does not, nor could it, in some way put a value on Mrs Thom’s life. Such things are beyond value and cannot be reflected in any meaningful way.”
Reilly was jailed for four years and disqualified from driving for eight years and ordered to re-sit a test before returning to the road. The 29-year-old from Dundee admitted causing death by dangerous driving.
The crash happened in November 2015 on the A914 Balmullo to Dairsie roundabout road in Fife.
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The 29-year-old from Dundee admitted causing death by dangerous driving
The court was told that the driver of the car, the victim’s daughter Louise, 27, was confronted with Reilly’s van heading directly towards her on her side of the road.
Advocate depute Adrian Cottam said: “Louise Thom was unable to take evasive action as there were trees on the left-hand side of the road and another vehicle in the carriageway on the right. As she stated, she had in effect ‘nowhere to go’.
“For an unknown reason he did not see, or ignored, the warning arrows and the solid white lines prohibiting overtaking.”
The plumbing and heating engineer, a father-of-two, had previous convictions for driving without insurance and speeding.