A POLICE officer who “showboated” and “drove at maximum acceleration” when he ploughed into a couple as they crossed a busy main road leaving them with serious injuries has been convicted of careless driving.
PC Scott Kerr, of Tayside Police, could be dismissed from the force as he faces internal disciplinary proceedings.
Kerr drove his silver Audi A3 Quattro at speed from a set of traffic lights in Dundee’s Earl Gray Place before hitting Roderick and Shirley Emslie.
Mr and Mrs Emslie told Dundee Sheriff Court that they were half way across the city’s Riverside Drive when they heard “squealing” tyres – and saw the off-duty officer’s car driving “erratically” towards them.
Mr Emslie was thrown up in the air – knocking him unconscious, ripping off part of his ear and leaving him with a fractured skull and broken nose.
Mrs Emslie told how skin was ripped from her leg, and that she now has pins holding together bones in her foot.
Mrs Emslie, 47, told how she turned and saw the car bearing down on them. “It appeared at great speed – looking like it was losing control or lane hogging,” she said. “It looked like it was jumping from lane to lane, or the driver wasn’t sure where he wanted to be. I couldn’t believe it was coming at such a speed.
“I remember being hit. I broke his wing mirror with my elbow and then he drove over my right foot. I felt like I was thrown up in the air – like I was flipped and spun.”
Mr Emslie, 51, added: “I saw the car coming and I stepped back. The next thing I remember was waking up at Ninewells Hospital later that day.”
Yesterday witnesses to the crash told the trial how Kerr had sped away from a set of traffic lights seconds before colliding with the couple.
Simon Mortlock, 55, said he had been sitting at the lights when Kerr sped up beside him and “braked severely” to stop.
He said: “It just shot off straight away and accelerated quite severely. By the time I moved half a car length, the other car was quite a considerable distance ahead of me.
“I could see the two people crossing the road ahead of me. The man was thrown up in the air on impact and she was brushed to the side.”
Kenneth Pottinger, 62, told the court that he had just come out of Dundee’s railway station and was waiting for a lift when he heard Kerr speed off from the traffic lights.
He said: “I heard the sound of a powerful engine at maximum acceleration heading away from the lights. I saw the car take off at a rate of knots.
“He wasn’t even looking out of the front – he was looking over towards me. He looked like he was showboating.
“The car was accelerating very fast – certainly over the 30mph speed limit.”
Kerr, 40, of Dundee, denied a charge of careless driving. Sheriff George Way found him guilty following a two-day hearing without a jury.
Jim Laverty, defending, said: “This will have fairly serious repercussions as far as he is concerned. Not only from the court but from his employer.”
Sheriff Way fined Kerr £750 and imposed six points on his driving licence.
The maximum possible penalty is a fine of up to £5,000 and nine penalty points.
Kerr was not charged with dangerous driving, which could have resulted in a jail term.