Teacher avoids prison

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A French school teacher who, caused a fatal crash which killed another motorist because he drove on the wrong side of the road in the borders, has avoided jail time.

Selkirk Sheriff Court heard Jean-Baptiste Brossett, 23, was driving in the UK for the first time when the accident happened last September. In the A72 crash Andrew McLean, 22, of Carnwath, South Lanarkshire, died.

Brossett, who teaches at a school in Ireland, received a sentence of 200 hours community service along with an 18-month driving ban.

The court heard how the Frenchman’s left-hand-drive Peugeot 307 veered onto the opposite side of the road causing a head-on collision with Mr McLean’s Vauxhall Nova which killed the latter driver instantly.

Brossett pulled himself from the wreckage and then managed to retrieve his girlfriend from the car.

Depute fiscal Tessa Bradley described how witnesses said that Brossett was “hysterical” at the accident scene and was heard to say: “I have killed a man. I am sorry, I am sorry.”

Definding, Peter Gray QC said: “It is a tragic moment of confusion by a young man driving in the UK and who was unaccustomed to driving on the left hand side of the road.

“He momentarily suffered a lapse of concentration and responded by acting instinctively moving to the right hand side of the road which for him is the right side of the road but tragically the wrong side of the road in Scotland.”

Mr Brossett pled guilty to a charge of causing death by careless driving.

Sheriff Kevin Drummond said: “There seems to be common ground here that it was caused by a moment’s inattention resulting from the accused’s inexperience of driving in the UK.”{jcomments on}