Careless driver who killed cyclist by overtaking on hill is spared jail

© DC ThomsonPolice investigating after the fatal accident on Carberry Road on November 1 2016.
Police investigating after the fatal accident on Carberry Road on November 1 2016.

A motorist who killed a cyclist after driving carelessly has been spared jail.

David Gordon crossed on to the other side of the road in Kirkcaldy to overtake when it was unsafe to do so and collided with Gary Christie’s mountain bike.

© Supplied
Gary Christie was a father-of-two.

Father-of-two Mr Christie, 38, was seriously injured in the incident on November 1 in 2016 and died in hospital two weeks later.

A judge told Gordon, 56, at the High Court in Edinburgh that he had given serious consideration to imprisoning him but reached the view it was neither necessary nor appropriate.

Lord Menzies ordered that he carry out the maximum amount of 300 hours unpaid work under a community payback order and banned him from driving for 10 years.

The judge also ruled that he must sit an extended driving test before applying for a licence again.

Lord Menzies said: “It must not be forgotten throughout all of this that Mr Christie was an innocent man who was just going about his daily routine of cycling to work and who was killed in the prime of his life.”

The judge said he had read a victim impact statement from a son of the deceased and added: “I can only begin to understand the loss and suffering which the death of Mr Christie has caused to his family and friends.”

Lord Menzies said a background report prepared on Gordon showed that he took full responsibility for causing the death by careless or inconsiderate driving.

Gordon told the author of the report that he should have waited until he was over the brow of a hill at Carberry Road before overtaking a cyclist travelling in the same direction.

Gordon said he had suffered nightmares featuring the noise of the collision between his Vauxhall Corsa and the bike.

Gordon, of High Street, Dysart, had offered to plead guilty to the offence of causing death by careless driving but that was rejected by the Crown and he stood trial for causing death by dangerous driving by driving when the windscreen was obscured and crossing over into the opposing carriageway to overtake when it was unsafe.

A jury at the High Court in Edinburgh earlier acquitted him of dangerous driving and convicted him of the lesser charge which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Lord Menzies told Gordon: “If you had been convicted of causing death by dangerous driving it would, I think, have been almost inevitable that I would have imposed a sentence of imprisonment on you.”

He said that in Gordon’s case there were no drugs, drink, speeding or other aggravating features involved.

He said: “You have accepted full responsibility for this accident and you have displayed remorse.”