The trial of a retired accountant, accused of causing the death of a pensioner friend in a Perthshire crash nearly three years ago, has been postponed for a sixth time and will now not take place until July.
Iain Mortimer, 74, formerly linked to a string of property and investment companies, is said to have failed to keep an eye on the road ahead and crashed his E-class Mercedes into an articulated lorry parked in a layby beside the A9 Perth to Stirling road near Dunblane.
It is alleged that the black Mercedes then ricocheted across the road, hitting a Vauxhall Astra.
Mortimer’s front-seat passenger, Mervyn Bowden, of Kirkhill, Inverness-shire, a 72-year-old widower and great-grandfather, died at the scene of the accident, north of Dunblane.
Both men were worshippers at Kirkhill Parish Church, where Mortimer used to edit the church newsletter.
Mortimer was due to face summary trial at Stirling Sheriff Court next month, but on Tuesday the case was adjourned.
He will now face trial at a two-day sitting on July 12 and 15.
He was originally due to face trial in July 2019.
Mortimer faces single charge
The single charge against Mortimer, of Beauly, Inverness-shire, alleges that, on June 12 2018, on the dual carriageway between Perth and Stirling near the junction for Upper Whitestone Farm, he caused Mr Bowden’s death by driving his Mercedes without due care and attention or reasonable consideration for other persons using the road.
It alleges he “failed to maintain observation of the carriageway ahead, failed to observe a heavy goods vehicle, then a stationary vehicle parked in a layby, and failed to maintain control” of his Mercedes, causing it to collide with the rear of the parked lorry and to be “projected across the carriageway”, striking the Astra, which was then being driven by a Charisse Zameer.
It is alleged all three vehicles, including the lorry, were damaged and Mr Bowden was “so severely injured that he died”.
The incident, on the southbound side of the dual-carriageway trunk route, occurred just before 1pm.
Trauma teams, paramedics, firemen from nearby Auchterarder, and an air ambulance, scrambled to the scene, and the southbound carriageway was closed for several hours in the aftermath of the fatality.
According to Companies House, Mortimer was company secretary to a total of five investment or property firms before resigning from all his appointments in September 2009.
In addition to the July trial dates, a date was also set for a procedural hearing, on June 29.
Mortimer was excused from attending this further preliminary in person.
His is among a huge number of cases to have faced delays due to the adjournment of huge swathes of court business during the coronavirus pandemic.