Motorist says he has no intention of driving again after causing death of a great-grandmother

A motorist who caused the death of a great grandmother by careless driving and severely injured two others has avoided a prison sentence.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 10:31 am
Selkirk Sheriff Court.
Selkirk Sheriff Court.

"A momentary lapse of attention" by 69-year-old Keith Atkinson resulted in a four-vehicle crash on the A72 near Innerleithen on March 1 last year.

Annie Notman, 82, from Biggar, died as a result of her injuries a day after the collision.

Atkinson's lawyer Ross Dow told Selkirk Sheriff Court that Atkinson from Balgreen in Edinburgh, was early for an appointment and decided to pull into a lay-by, but was distracted by a vehicle pulling out. He didn’t check again for any oncoming traffic and caused the crash with the vehicle carrying Mrs Notman.

Mr Dow said: “It was a momentary lapse of attention. There was no excessive speeding, he was not in a rush. He has shown genuine remorse and has said he has no intention of driving a vehicle again.”

Mr Dow said reports stated the retired carer was a low risk of re-offending having been driving for 52 years.

Sheriff Peter Paterson said: "Mr Atkinson has led a blameless life and for those reasons I am going to follow the recommendation in the Criminal Justice Social Work Report and impose a community based disposal.

As a direct alternative to custody, Sheriff Paterson imposed a night-time home curfew and banned Atkinson from driving for one year.

He will need to sit the extended test if he wants to drive again.