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‘It was Covid not cocaine’: Driver denies drugs were cause of Tesco crash

Tesco in Tain.
The crash happened in the car park of Tesco in Tain.

A drug-driver who ploughed into a snowbank in a supermarket car park insists it was Covid, not cocaine, that caused the crash.

Bystanders alerted the emergency services after Finlay Hope was spotted driving erratically outside Tain’s Tesco.

A drug wipe confirmed he’d taken cocaine but at court his solicitor said his demeanour was “inconsistent” with cocaine use.

He instead claimed it was due to Covid-19, which Hope had tested positive for soon after the incident.

Hope appeared at Tain Sheriff Court where he admitted a single drug-driving charge in relation to the incident on February 14 last year.

Crash prompted 999 call

Fiscal depute Hilary Michopoulou said: “Members of the public saw the accused driving erratically between the supermarket and the petrol station.”

She said onlookers had called 999 and requested an ambulance after Hope crashed into a heavily built-up snowbank and came to a stop.

Paramedics at the scene thought the driver may have suffered a drink or drug-induced seizure and requested police to attend.

Tests later revealed Hope to have no less than 30 micrograms of cocaine per litre of blood, the legal limit being 10 micrograms.

Cocaine driver ‘was just unwell’

His solicitor Graham Mann told the court: “He was unwell and almost immediately after this tested positive for Covid.

“His presentation is inconsistent with that drug. He was just unwell.”

He said his client, a shop manager, did concede that he had taken cocaine the night before the driving incident and accepted “that these two do not mix”.

Sheriff Robert McDonald disqualified Hope, of Fountain Road, Golspie, from driving for one year and fined him £640.


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