Scots driver who killed mother spared jail

Officers have cordoned off the area.
Officers have cordoned off the area.
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A driver who killed a mother-of-three in a head-on crash after trying to overtake on a winding country road yesterday escaped a jail sentence.

Christopher Taylor caused the crash in which 56-year-old Yvonne Shann died after he pulled out to overtake on a rural road in Argyll and Bute.

The 30-year-old was ordered to perform 300 hours unpaid work in the community after a judge accepted his remorse was “genuine.”

The High Court in Glasgow heard that the accident took place on the A816 near Oban on 30 December 2015, a tragedy which Ms Shann’s family are still “struggling” to deal with.

Taylor was originally charged with causing Ms Shann’s death by dangerous driving, but a jury convicted him of the reduced charge of causing death by careless driving.

Sentencing Taylor yesterday, Judge Lord Beckett told him: “A middle-aged woman who was driving safely and responsibly died in a head-on collision which you caused.

“Her family are left to grieve and her husband and three sons are still struggling to come to terms with it.”

The judge said that there was no suggestion that there was anything wrong with the first offender’s driving until he pulled out to carry out the overtaking manoeuvre

Lord Beckett said to Taylor: “I am satisfied your remorse is genuine.”

He banned Taylor from driving for 22 months and warned him if he did not carry out the unpaid work he could end up in prison.

In the aftermath of the crash, Ms Shann had to be cut free from her Citroen, but she never recovered from the serious injuries she sustained.

The 56-year-old died more than a week after the incident in hospital.

The fatal crash took place at night on the rural Lochgilphead to Oban road, a route that is “twisty and windy,” the court heard.

Taylor, from Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, had a young child in his Peugeot at the time of the crash.

Jurors heard that a driver in front of Taylor “knew something was going to happen” when he pulled out to overtake him.

This motorist feared the worst and “held his steering wheel a lot tighter” as Taylor smashed into Ms Shann’s car.

The court was told the crash happened in a “split second” and that “the noise was terrible”.

The court heard that Ms Shann, who lived in Oban, could not have done anything to avoid being hit.

She died on 11 January at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, Renfrewshire.

Taylor, who stayed in Ardrishaig, Argyll, at the time, accepted being responsible for the accident. He was found guilty in January.

In her closing speech to the jury, prosecutor Jane Farquharson said what happened had been a “catastrophic error” on Taylor’s part.

She added he had not been a “careful and competent” motorist that night.

Taylor’s defence counsel, Dale Hughes, said: “Mr Taylor has expressed regret and guilt.”