A man has been jailed after causing a horror head-on crash which left a 19-year-old scooter rider paralysed from the chest down.
Brendan Gall, 34, was convicted after a trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court of causing serious injury by dangerous driving over the devastating collision on the B994 Kintore to Kemnay road.
Gall denied seriously injuring Oskar Sumera by driving at excessive speeds for the conditions and road layout. He also denied a charge of driving without insurance.
Mr Sumera was on a life support machine following the crash on October 20 2018 and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since.
Earlier this month, the jury took around an hour to deliver a majority guilty verdict on the dangerous driving charge and a unanimous one on the insurance charge, and sentence was deferred while background reports were prepared.
Now he has appeared back in the dock to be sentenced.
Defence agent John McLeod told the court his client acknowledged the “catastrophic consequences” of the collision and has been deeply affected by it himself.
‘His life has been changed forever’
He said Gall had difficulty sleeping and had been attending counselling.
The lawyer referred to comments made by Gall in the background report which reflected his position during the trial, that a “micro-climate” causing by overhanging trees affecting the road surface had contributed to the crash, and asked the sheriff not to hold this against Gall.
Sheriff Philip Mann replied: “I accept your client genuinely believes he wasn’t driving dangerously.”
Mr McLeod urged the sheriff to impose a community-based sentence instead of prison, and said Gall had saved up £5,000 to go towards a compensation order.
Sheriff Mann told Gall, of Victoria Street, Dyce, that the manner of driving was “not as serious as many instances of dangerous driving that come before the court”, but said there were three things which aggravated the offence.
‘I don’t like sending people to custody’
He explained these were Gall’s record, which included road traffic matters, the lack of insurance and, most importantly, the horrific injuries caused.
Sheriff Mann said: “His life has been changed forever.”
He added: “I’m acutely aware you didn’t set out that day to cause anyone injury or damage, but the fact remains you did drive dangerously with catastrophic consequences.
“I don’t like sending people to custody but, try as a might, I can’t see any appropriate disposal other than a custodial sentence.”
He ordered Gall to be jailed for 18 months, and banned him from driving for four years and nine months.
His messages to a friend included: “I think we killed someone.
“I crashed my car tonight. Head on into a boy on his scooter.”