Factory worker fined £700 and given six points for careless driving

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A Claggan teenager has been fined £700 after being been found guilty of careless driving.

Ross McConnell, 18, of Carn Dearg Road, also had his licence endorsed with six penalty points when he appeared before Sheriff Eilidh MacDonald at Fort William Sheriff Court last Thursday (April 25).

Sheriff MacDonald found McConnell, a Marine Harvest factory worker, guilty of driving over a zebra crossing without slowing down or stopping while pedestrians were on the crossing on January 12 this year.

The court heard that just before 11pm on January 12, there had been a hostile interaction between McConnell and a group of three people, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in McDonald’s restaurant in Fort William. The row continued into the car park before McConnell got into his car.

The group of three, one boy and two girls all aged under 18, began crossing the zebra crossing on Camanachd Crescent between McDonald’s restaurant and Morrisons supermarket.

The two girls then stopped on the crossing and one of them lay down on the road on all fours, which was described as ‘just mucking about’, before they heard McConnell’s car turn out of the junction on to Camanachd Crescent towards them. At this point the male pedestrian walked on to the pavement on the other side.

McConnell continued to drive his car across the zebra crossing without slowing down, missing the two girls still on the crossing, and continued to drive northbound to the roundabout.

One witness told the court McConnell was driving ‘too close’ to the pedestrians and said he was concerned they ‘might have got hit’ by McConnell’s car.

In defence, solicitor Stephen Kennedy said McConnell was not going faster than the 30mph speed limit when he crossed the crossing.

‘These two young ladies were stationary as he approached,’ said Mr Kennedy. ‘In fact, not only were they stationary but one of them was lying on the crossing, almost in a press-up position. But neither of them were moving.’

Mr Kennedy added: ‘I submit it was not the safest thing to do, but I would say it is a different thing altogether to say he was driving in a dangerous manner.’

Sheriff MacDonald found McConnell guilty of careless driving. She endorsed his licence with six penalty points and fined him £700.

In sentencing, she told McConnell: ‘It was clear you were being taunted by these girls and they were mucking about on the crossing. Unfortunately you rose to the bait.’