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years it has been superseded by a number of discrete web sites (3 at the last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 pal and reported me to the police.
This pal 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.
The conspirators 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 outran a Kawasaki ZX 1100 motorcycle;
4 - the rider of the Kawasaki who kept to speed limits and never undertook queues of traffic;
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;
- and finally, the least improbable fact (which Douglas Adams fans will appreciate) is that the complaining driver lives near Liff.
Unfortunately, the Sheriff refused to believe that giving such improbable evidence made the Crown's witnesses any less credible:
he accepted their version of events and convicted me.
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…...
(aka the Muirhead Monster), the Astra driver – 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……