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Man caused death of disabled cousin in horror north-east crash

Scott Riddell appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court
Scott Riddell appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court

A north-east man has admitted causing the death of his disabled cousin in a horror car crash.

Relatives say that Scott Riddell and Leslie Stuart were “more like brothers” and the pair had been enjoying a day out before the tragedy on Saturday, June 18, 2016.

Riddell’s car skidded from the A947 road between Banff and Turriff and smashed into a house that evening leaving Mr Stuart, who lived in Aberdeen, with fatal head injuries.

He appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday, after pleading guilty to causing the accident which claimed the 58-year-old’s life.

Fiscal depute David Barclay explained that Mr Stuart kept in poor health and was reliant on a wheelchair after having his left leg amputated below the knee in 2013.

He added: “Police inquiries indicated that the two were very close, and many viewed them more as brothers than cousins.

“That day, the accused had collected Mr Stuart from his home to visit relatives in Banff and the fatal incident happened at 8.20pm when they were on their way for a meal.

“The accused was negotiating a right-hand bend near Plaidy when he struck the nearside kerb and crossed the carriageway.

“The car then travelled through a field and a boundary wall before colliding with a property known as Old Station House.

“Mr Stuart was cut free and taken to Aberdeeen Royal Infirmary, where he died on June 20, 2016.

“A police investigation concluded that the crash was caused by the accused attempting to negotiate a bend at too high a speed.”

The 43-year-old accused, of Shannocks View in Turriff, later accepted a charge of driving his Audi S4 “without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other road users”.

The crane operator admitted driving “at excessive speed”, losing control of the car, causing it to skid across the carriageway and collide with a house.

The court heard that the family who own the affected property were forced to live elsewhere until last April, when repairs finished.

Defence agent, Gregor Kelly, said Riddell accepted that the crash was his fault.

He added: “This had catastrophic consequences on a man he considered to be like a brother.”

Sheriff William Summers agreed to defer sentence on Riddell until Wednesday, February 28, for the preparation of reports.

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