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Man who spent six months in coma should not have been driving

Inverness Sheriff Court
Inverness Sheriff Court

A man who was in a coma for six months can’t explain why he drives although he is disqualified, a court has heard.

Defence solicitor Rory Gowans asked Sheriff David Sutherland not to jail 38-year-old Christopher Murray, who had already served a prison sentence for driving while banned in 2019, so he could get psychiatric help in the community.

Inverness Sheriff Court was told Murray, of Westford, Alness, had come to the attention of police because he was driving a car on the A832 on Black Isle Road, Muir of Ord, without any licence plates.

Fiscal depute Catriona Steele said a check on the police computer revealed he should not have been driving.

‘The author of his own misfortune’

Mr Gowans said: “He had a significant brain injury many years ago and was in a coma for six months. He had to re-learn everything.

“This was an impulsive decision to take a car in poor condition to a scrap yard only half a mile away.

“He can’t really explain why he did it and targeted intervention may assist him. But given his record, he could be sent to prison today.

“However there is a potential solution. He accepts he was the author of his own misfortune.”

Sheriff Sutherland then agreed to free Murray, who has been on remand since last month after admitting the August 23, 2021 offence.

Instead, he ordered Murray to carry out 180 hours of unpaid community work, placed him on two year’s social work supervision and required him to get mental health and psychiatric help in a community payback order.

 

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