A driver who left an Angus mum with life-threatening injuries in a horrific road crash has had his prison sentence reduced.
Scott Fairweather, 28, was jailed after skipping a red light and colliding at high speed with Rachel Ward’s car in Forfar in November 2020.
Miss Ward spent a fortnight in Ninewells Hospital with a collapsed lung and broken pelvis and now suffers from a heart murmur.
Sheriff Richard McFarlane told Fairweather he saw no alternative to a custodial sentence and ordered the 28-year-old to serve 40 months in prison.
Fairweather appealed and succeeded in arguing a portion of his prison term – 13 months for attempting to defeat the ends of justice – was excessive and should be reduced.
The judges agreed and brought it down to nine months, which means Fairweather will now receive a 36-month prison term.
Dundee Sheriff Court previously heard how Fairweather took his girlfriend’s blue Vauxhall Corsa before crashing into Miss Ward’s vehicle on North Street in the early hours of November 15.
Shocking CCTV footage showed Miss Ward’s car being propelled 15 metres across the road and into a traffic light.
Fairweather, of Easterbank, Forfar, suffered a broken leg but still managed to run away.
The impact of the collision projected Miss Ward’s car 15 metres, before it mounted a kerb and struck a traffic light pole and then a wall.
She was cut free by firefighters and treated in intensive care.
Fairweather was convicted of taking the car without permission, driving dangerously and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.
Miss Ward previously told The Courier how she is having ongoing health issues and wanted to see Fairweather’s sentence increased.
She said: “He has shown absolutely no remorse and I actually hope they increase his sentence.”
On Friday, defence solicitor advocate Douglas Thomson said the sentence imposed for the attempt to defeat the ends of justice was too harsh.
He said: “He did, after the collision took place, make his way back to the locus where the police were already waiting for him and at the point when the police were present, he presented himself to be arrested.
“So this is a situation in which there was no additional investigative work needed by the authorities to locate him.
“This is not a situation where he took active steps to avoid capture for a period of time.
“He was apprehended within 90 minutes of the collision taking place and he appeared on the next court date.
“Further, he accepted his guilt on the matter upon the service of the indictment.
“The sheriff appears to have taken the view, in my submission, falls into misunderstanding.”
Presiding judge Lord Pentland said: “We have ultimately come to the view that the headline sentence of 18 months imprisonment selected by the sheriff was excessive and we note that the appellant did not have a significant record of prior offending.
“Whilst his conduct in the immediate aftermath of the collision was undoubtedly reprehensible and cannot be excused, it was short lived.
“There was nothing in the way of a sustained or sophisticated attempt to conceal his guilt nor was there any delay in the appellant being apprehended or evidence being tampered with or destroyed.
“Particularly in taking account of the other sentences imposed on the other two charges, we consider that a headline sentence of 12 months imprisonment discounted to one of nine months would have been sufficient to mark the gravity of this attempt to defeat the ends of justice. “