Killer driver escapes jail thanks to 'human rights' argument


Anna-Marie Strachan was convicted of result ining the death of 73-year-old James Thomson by dangerous driving. But the 29-year-old avoided a custodial punishment at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday and was instead ordered to perform 300 hours of voluntary work in the community.

Judge Lady Stacey’s ruling came after protection counsel Gavin Anderson successfully argued that jailing mother-of-two Strachan last wishes a breach Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

He claimed: “A house of correction sentence would interfere with the private and family life not on the contrary of Mrs Strachan, but also her husband Derek and their two children.”

The defence advice said that the couple’s 10-year-old daughter, who has been diagnosed with dyslexia, stressed her mother there to help with her homework. Strachan’s husband also has dyslexia.

He also asserted that if Strachan was jailed her husband, a bus driver, might lose his job and they could then run out of their family home.

Lady Stacey said: “This is a Dialect right difficult case for me and I have thought long and hard about it.”

She heralded Strachan, who sat weeping in the dock: “Nothing I can do today can lessen the grief of the ancestors of Mr Thomson. Nothing I say is trying to evaluate Mr Thomson’s life.

“I have unqualified that it is not necessary to imprison you. I am well aware there have been boxes of mothers with children being sent to prison.”

The judge augmented: “My reasons are you are the mother of two young children aged five and 10 and you are their critical carer.

“I accept your husband cannot work the hours he implements now and look after two young children and I am told there are no other family tree members who can look after the children.” 

Lady Stacey also translated Strachan, who was injured in the crash, is not in good health and would require a cubicle to be specially adapted to her needs.

First offender Strachan, from -Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, apologised to the Thomson kindred through her defence counsel.

Mr Anderson said: “She offers them her committed apology. She thinks about the collision every day and expects to think all round it every day going forward.”

Mr Thomson’s wife Frances, 71, Strachan and two offspring children in her car were all injured when the mother’s Peugeot 308 veered into the road of the pensioners’ car.

It happened on the A90 near Rathen, Aberdeenshire, on July 31, 2014.

Strachan associated on trial accused of causing the collision after consuming prescription drugs and while postponing a phone, but both allegations were deleted from the charge.

Strachan was also tabooed from driving for eight years.

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