A jury will decide on Monday whether a man who let his girlfriend drive whilst sitting on his knee was responsible for the death of a pensioner.
Kylie Johnston was learning how to drive while sitting on Nathaniel Cooper’s lap when the silver Daihatsu Terio they were travelling in spun out of control before careering into the side of a static caravan.
Unknown to the pair at the time, the car had also collided with 65-year-old Andrew MacKay who was on holiday at the East Balthangie Caravan Park, near Cuminestown.
The retired plumber suffered fatal chest injuries after being trapped between the car and the holiday home.
Earlier this year Johnston, of 8 Newbigging Drive, Stonehaven, admitted causing Mr MacKay’s death by driving dangerously on July 21, 2013.
She accepted she had been controlling the steering wheel of the car as it crossed a grassy area and crashed through a fence on the site.
But she claims 30-year-old Cooper, of 4 Queens Road, Inverbervie, had also been in control of the vehicle in the moments leading up to the crash.
This week Cooper went on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen also charged with causing Mr MacKay’s death by driving dangerously. It is alleged he was controlling the accelerator, brake and clutch at the time of the crash while Johnston operated the steering wheel.
He denies the charge against him.
It is a matter of agreement between the prosecution and the defence that both Johnston and Cooper were sitting in the driver’s seat at the time of the accident. Their two young children were also in the back of the 4×4.
Yesterday, during closing speeches defence counsel advocate David Moggach urged the jury to find Cooper not guilty of the offence.
He said that although he “may have been incredibly foolish” to allow the car to be driven in such a way, he insisted Cooper was not in control of any part of the vehicle at the time of the crash.
Mr Moggach also told the jury they should not believe any of the evidence given by Johnston during the trial and said she was just looking for someone to share the blame with.
The trial, before Lord Stewart, will conclude next week.