A woman caught drink-driving for a third time claimed in court on Wednesday that she had been traumatised by overhearing the death of a child.
Lynda Berwick said she had been left disturbed by being a witness to the tragic death of Kane Morris, 10, in the flat above her home in Coupar Angus.
Her solicitor told Perth Sheriff Court that Berwick’s partner had been the first person on the scene and had found the badly injured body of Kane and another child.
Solicitor Jamie Baxter, defending, gave the court further details of the incident, but they cannot be reported for legal reasons.
He said: “Her partner was bipolar and had mental health issues. There was deterioration in his mental health last year.
“They reside in the property underneath the flat and heard a commotion going on. It was this lady’s husband who went upstairs and was first on the scene.
“There is reference in the social work report to her witnessing it and having difficulty getting over that, but that pales into insignificance with the effect on her husband.
“This was an incident involving two young children, one of whom died at the scene. Her husband has just not coped at all.”
Fiscal depute Bill Kermode told the court that police had run a check on Berwick’s car and found that she had no insurance. When they pulled her over she smelled of alcohol.
He said: “A roadside breath test was positive. She was arrested and taken to the police station.”
Berwick, 44, Union Street, Coupar Angus, admitted driving without insurance and while she was nearly twice the legal limit in York Place, Perth, on April 19.
Mr Baxter said Berwick had been visiting a relative on Good Friday and thought she would be safe to drive after having a drink while she was there.
“The problem she has is this is her third drink driving offence,” Mr Baxter said, adding the previous two happened while she was involved in an unhappy relationship several years ago.
Sheriff Gillian Wade said: “Given the persistent nature of you offending by driving under the influence of alcohol you are at the cusp of a custodial sentence.
“However, you have not offended for some time and I will take into account the mitigating circumstances offered.”
Berwick was banned from driving for 56 months and ordered to carry out 165 hours of unpaid work during a 12-month period of social work supervision.