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Drink-driver who left motorcyclist in hospital with 'several fractures' sentenced over A95 crash

By Ali Morrison

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Invereness Sheriff Court news.
Invereness Sheriff Court news.

A motorcyclist was badly injured when a driver who had too much to drink overtook a car on the A95 road and failed to see the biker.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that the casualty suffered several fractures, underwent surgery and spent four days in hospital after being airlifted from the A95 between Grantown and Aberlour on October 6, last year.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank was told that Graeme Costine of Craigie Street, Ballingry, near Lochgelly in Fife, ploughed into the off-road machine and the victim, who was wearing no helmet and had on dark clothing, landed 20 metres from the point of the collision.

The 47-year-old former RAF serviceman was later breathalysed and he had a reading of 53 microgrammes of alcohol in his system.

The limit is 22 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.

Related: Drink driver hit motorcyclist whilst overtaking on A95 by Grantown

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Costine previously admitted driving with excess alcohol and causing serious injury by careless driving. Sentence was deferred for a background report.

Fiscal depute Pauline Gair said: "The emergency services were called and the motorcyclist was flown by air ambulance to Aberdeen with serious leg injuries.

"He had two broken femurs and had to have surgery when two pins were inserted. He also had a fractured collar bone."

Defence solicitor Robert Cruickshank addressed Sheriff Sara Matheson who was the sentencing judge.

He told her: "He had been drinking the night before and delayed his journey thinking it would be out of his system. Sadly it wasn't. There is nothing to suggest bad driving. It was an unfortunate accident which had very serious consequences.

"The rider was a scrambler and it shouldn't have been on the road. He was wearing no helmet, had no lights and the rider was wearing dark clothing. I am not seeking to blame the rider but there was some contribution.

"My client and other witnesses were driving into a low sun, the background was dark and no-one saw the bike. It is unclear when he emerged from a field and on to the carriageway."

Costine was ordered to carry out 210 hours of unpaid work as an alternative to custody. He was also banned from driving for 18 months and must resit the extended test of competency before returning behind the wheel.

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