Husband blasts sentence on fatal crash driver

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The husband of a Kilninver woman killed in a head-on road smash has hit out over the leniency of the sentence given to the driver who caused the accident.

Andrew Shann said he was ‘disgusted’ with the outcome, which saw  Christopher Taylor, 30, avoiding jail after being convicted of causing death by careless driving.

Mr Shann’s wife, Yvonne, 56, died in the accident on a country road near Oban on December 30, 2015.

Taylor was ordered to perform 300 hours of unpaid work in the community and was banned from driving for 22 months.

Mr Shann said: ‘I am disgusted. It’s just ridiculous. He has gone from being charged with death by dangerous driving to death by careless driving to getting community service.

‘The law is an ass. It’s just unbelievable. The thing is, there’s nothing you can do about it, you just have to take it.

‘[Our children] are absolutely gutted that he got away with death by reckless driving.’

The High Court in Glasgow heard Taylor was originally charged with causing Mrs Shann’s death by dangerous driving, but a jury convicted him of the reduced charge of causing death by careless driving.

Judge Lord Beckett told Taylor: ‘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 there was no suggestion there was anything wrong with Taylor’s driving until he pulled out to overtake.

Lord Beckett said to Taylor, a first offender: ‘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 be jailed.

Mrs Shann had to be cut free from her Citroen and died more than a week later in the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.

The fatal crash took place on the A816 Lochgilphead to Oban road.

Taylor, of Rothesay, Isle of Bute, had a young child in his Peugeot at the time. The crash happened at night on the ‘twisty and windy’ road.

Jurors heard a driver in front of Taylor ‘knew something was going to happen’ when he pulled out to overtake him. The motorist feared the worst and ‘held his steering wheel a lot tighter’ as Taylor smashed into Mrs Shann’s car.

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

The court heard Mrs Shann – who lived at Home Farm, Kilninver – could not have done anything to avoid being hit.

Taylor, who stayed in Ardrishaig at the time, accepted being responsible for the accident. His defence counsel, Dale Hughes, said: ‘Mr Taylor has expressed regret and guilt.’