HMA v ASG 2019

ASG, an appellant, has his appeal against a finding of facts, that took place in July 2019, that found he committed the offence of death by dangerous driving dismissed at the High Court in Edinburgh. ASG was found unfit to stand trial due to suffering from dementia.

The High Court upheld the ruling of the judge who found that beyond a reasonable doubt the appellant committed this offence. The appellant was charged with causing the death of an elderly man as he crossed a Glasgow road as the appellant was not wearing glasses and his eyesight feel below the standard required. The victim died in hospital as a result of his injuries. The appellant argued that there was not enough evidence led during the finding of facts to conclude the appellant was guilty of this offence of death by dangerous driving. The appellant’s legal team argued no one was able to conclude from the evidence that the appellant was not wearing his glasses at the time of driving. A police officer had given evidence to state the appellant had not said to him he was a glasses wearer but he failed to pass the number plate test. The appellant’s legal team said nothing should be inferred for this as he was not cautioned then and was under no obligation to mention this. However, the appeal was refused.

High court judge Lord Brodie said: “That the appellant was found not to be wearing glasses shortly after the accident, that no glasses were found in a place where he might be expected to have placed them had he been wearing them when driving, that he did not produce glasses thereafter despite participating in an eye test, that he attributed the accident to his not seeing a presumably slow-moving pedestrian who was in plain sight, and that the attending police officers could only explain the accident as having occurred because the appellant had not seen the pedestrian, taken together, leads us to infer that the appellant was not in fact wearing the corrective eyewear which was necessary if he was to be fit to drive and that it was the appellant’s consequently impaired vision which caused him not to see the now deceased and therefore to drive his car into a collision… Accordingly, having regard to section 2A of the 1988 Act we conclude, on the primary facts determined by the temporary judge, that the appellant did the act which constituted the offence of contravention of section 1 of the Act with which he had been charged.” The appeal was therefore refused.