Boy racer, 23, put SEVEN of his friends in hospital after causing two high speed crashes in space of six months while ‘showing off’
- Lewis Moffat, 23, found guilty of driving carelessly by jury in Perth this week
- ‘Showing off’, he crashed into a garden wall attempting a handbrake turn
- Two girls hospitalised and a third friend was checked over for injuries
- Six months previously, Moffat pleaded guilty to driving dangerously in Perth
- In the earlier incident he left four of his friends in hospital after rolling his car
A boy racer put seven of his friends in hospital after crashing his car twice at speed within six months while ‘showing off’.
Perth Sheriff Court heard how Lewis Moffat, 23, crashed into a garden wall between Perth and St Andrews on January 20, 2019, after bragging how he could perform a ‘handbrake turn’.
Moffat, from Auchterarder, Scotland, claimed he had been trying to swerve to avoid a hare in the road and had lost control of his vehicle, causing an impact that ‘demolished’ the entire wall.
The 23-year-old and his friend Ross Taylor had to free Melissa Hunter and Megan Allen from the wreckage.
This incident took place while Moffat had been awaiting trial for an earlier charge of dangerous driving.
Lewis Moffat, 23, from Auchterarder, Scotland, put seven of his friends in hospital as a result of two car crashes within six months of each other while ‘showing off’
The earlier incident on July 1, 2018, six months before the latest crash, saw Moffat leave four of his friends hospitalised after flying off the road and rolling into a field at speed while ‘showing off’.
Moffat lost control on a bend because he was driving too fast and the group of friends ended up upside down 20 metres from the road.
Appearing in court this week, Moffat was charged with trying to pervert the course of justice by telling his friends to back up his story with the police, and a charge of dangerous driving.
The trial had to be re-started, with the first jury dismissed after two days, after some jurors were overheard discussing the case during proceedings.
During the trial, PC Garren Pilkington, 50, told the court that when officers arrived at the scene the girls were lying badly injured on the driveway and were in too much pain to speak.
‘They were just lying there, complaining about their injuries. They were screaming and moaning,’ he told the jury.
The court was told how the women had warned Moffat not to perform the handbrake turn as he approached a 90 degree bend in the road.
Both girls broke down in the witness box as they described how they were left in severe pain as a result of the injuries they sustained. Mr Taylor, and the accused were also taken to hospital for checks.
The jury, which had not been told of Moffat’s previous trial for dangerous driving, found him guilty of driving carelessly by repeatedly applying the handbrake and causing his Ford Fiesta to speed and swerve.
However, Moffat was cleared of trying to pervert the course of justice by the jury, a decision which Sheriff William Wood said was ‘fortunate’.
Sheriff Wood said: ‘You are a young man who has had issues and difficulties with driving. I am not going to say what I believe or disbelieve because that is irrelevant now.
‘Conditions existed for these charges to be brought by the Crown. You made certain admissions about the way you were driving.
Perth Sheriff Court (pictured) heard how Lewis Moffat, 23, crashed into a garden wall between Perth and St Andrews on January 20, 2019, after bragging how he could perform a ‘handbrake turn’ – leaving three of his friends needing medical assistance. The court were not told of his previous conviction for dangerous driving six months previously in which he hospitalised four other friends
‘You are fortunate the jury didn’t reach a different conclusion, because if they had, the maximum sentence would have been five years in custody.
‘Your interests are best served by learning the lessons and not putting yourself in this situation again. You are going to have to be really careful on the roads.’
Moffat was not handed a driving ban because any disqualification would have had to run alongside the existing ban in place for the incident six months prior.
Sheriff Wood said: ‘Penalty points might be a longer lasting deterrent. The jury found you guilty of careless driving as an alternative to dangerous driving.
‘My powers are extremely limited and I am restricted in what I can do. I am quite dismayed to see you have a previous conviction for dangerous driving.
‘Rather than impose a disqualification, I am going to impose the maximum points available which will be nine points – so any speeding offence will lead to disqualification.
‘You seem to have an issue with driving and hopefully you will have learned your lesson one way or another.’
Wood also handed Moffat a fine of £1,000.
In the earlier incident, Moffat pleaded guilty to driving dangerously and at excessive speed in Perthshire on July 1, 2018.
The court for that trial heard how four of Moffat’s friends had been put in hospital as a result of the crash.
Fiscal depute Catriona MacQueen said: ‘The accused was described by all to be driving quickly for the road and they formed the opinion he may be showing off.’
Sheriff Gillian Wade banned Moffat for two years and ordered him to re-sit the extended driving test. She also ordered him to carry out 200 hours unpaid work.
She said: ‘You were somebody who had just been given a licence when you chose to drive this way, potentially endangering the lives of your passengers, yourself, and anyone else who came in your way.’
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