Stranraer taxi driver jailed for A75 death

A STRANRAER taxi driver has been jailed for 12 months after a death crash on the A75 near Castle Doulas over a year ago.

Brian Shingleston, aged 58, of Craiglea Avenue, drove on to the wrong side of the road near Springholm before the head-on crash on January 24 last year.

He claimed that he had been dazzled by the low January sun as he drove west towards his home with his wife and two elderly relations in the back of the car.

Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court heard today (Thursday) that the man who died, Mark Hoare, 22, from Batley, West Yorkshire, was returning home from Stranraer after proposing to his Stranraer girlfriend.

Shingleston, who was also banned from driving for two years and ordered to sit the extended driving test of competency, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Mr Hoare by driving without due care and attention or without having reasonable consideration for other road users.

Procurator fiscal depute Gemma Hind told the court how Mr Hoare, a mechanic, was returning home when the accident happened near Springholm.

The accident happened while Mr Hoare was negotiating a left hand bend.

Agent Murray Robertson apologised on behalf of his client and said he was deeply remorseful and it was clear he was a man who was utterly aware of the effects and tragic consequences for the deceased’s family and his fiancée.

He said that the sun was very low and had impaired his vision.

Sheriff Alastair Brown said that if a driver drove at 50mph and couldn’t see, then he ran the risk of hitting something or someone. At that speed it could be fatal and in this case there was also the speed of the oncoming vehicle.

The Sheriff said: “In cases where a driver cannot see where he is going, then he should slow down until he can or stop.

“You failed to do so and your vehicle went wholly onto the opposite roadway and you would have hit whatever car was coming. There is no suggestion that Mr Hoare had any chance to avoid a collision.”He extended sympathy to the family of Mr Hoare and said that no penalty he could impose would make up for the loss of a young life.

The Sheriff added: “I consider you driving to be sufficiently bad that you should not be allowed to on the road without passing the extended test of competency.”