This saga relates my
experience fighting an accusation of Dangerous Driving through the Scottish Court system.
Driving in Dundee” was first published on my blog A Hitch Hiker's Guide to NE Scotland in 2005 and grew to 10 entries.
years it has been superseded by a number of discrete web sites (3 at the last
count) and I have decided to give the blog a more apposite title and reduce it to a single summary page with a
link to one of the web sites:
A driver, angry at being held up on his very own local road, took
revenge by tailgating me; but this didn't satisfy him so he got together
with a mate and reported me to the police.
This mate was a motorcyclist who pretended to be a witness.
For good measure he got his girlfriend to say she was riding pillion so that she could
also claim to be a witness.
embellished their story with a number of improbable events:
1 - a car that was
reported damaged yet was undamaged when examined by a policeman;
2 - a complainant who, despite claiming to be shocked, managed to remember 2 registration numbers;
3 - a diesel
Citroen that managed to outrun a Kawasaki ZX 1100 motorbike;
4 - the rider of the Kawasaki who always kept to speed limits;
5 - a ‘witness’ who “got quite a fright” when
observing the ‘accident’ despite being 20 miles away at the time;
6 - the
Citroen which, as the Sheriff observed, overtook the witnesses’s
vehicles even though it was already in front of them;
7 - and finally, the least improbable fact (which Douglas Adams fans will appreciate) is that the
complaining driver lives near Liff.
Sheriff refused to believe that giving such error-strewn evidence made the
Crown's witnesses any less credible: he accepted their version of events and convicted
Me – heading home at a leisurely pace in my Citroen, listening to Eddie Mair
halfway through his PM slot on Radio 4, moving out to pass an overladen truck
doing 25 mph, aware of a distant Astra charging up the outside lane…...
Car Genie (aka the Muirhead Monster) – finding his route to speed heaven blocked by a Citroen passing a slow
truck, had a temper tantrum - tailgated, flashed and hooted; and when he did get
past he slowed down abruptly in front of me…...
The Singing Fish
(by Miro the Mad Mechanic) – roaring up just after the incident, turned round in his saddle and gestured
towards the Astra with thumb and forefinger……
The Perjurer's Apprentice – the Singing Fish’s pillion passenger – a
Thomas Crookwank – my pompous solicitor and a man so pleased
with himself that he would mention his friends in high places at every meeting;
he told me I was guilty and said I was lying but denied it when I complained to
the Law Society of Scotland……
AG McCulloch – the Sheriff – despite spotting some of the
lies told by the Crown witnesses, he refused to believe that all 3 could have
conspired to tell tall stories in his court; unable to explain why my
story was so utterly different, he hit upon the notion that I was tired, thus accounting
for my faulty recollection……