Tayside and Central Scotland

Drink-driver fell 100ft off bridge

Friarton Bridge Image copyright Richard Webb
Image caption Shaw was found guilty of drink driving on the Friarton Bridge last April

A drunk driver fell 100ft (30m) off a road bridge after crashing his car.

Leonard Shaw denied drink-driving, telling his trial in Perth that he had fallen off the Friarton Bridge in April 2014 after stubbing his toe.

The 63-year-old said it was only then that he drank a bottle of whisky, before climbing back up to the road where police were searching for him.

Sheriff Simon Collins rejected Shaw's claims, finding him guilty and banning him from driving for three years.

Shaw, of Montrose, told Perth Sheriff Court he was driving home from his mother's 90th birthday party when the backdraft from a passing lorry caused him to lose control of his car on the bridge outside Perth.

He said he got out of the car to compose himself after colliding with the central reservation, but stumbled and toppled over the parapet, falling 100ft to the banks of the Tay below.

Image copyright Mike Pennington
Image caption The 63-year-old fell from the 100ft high road bridge after crashing his car

The road surfacing expert claimed he then took several gulps from a bottle of whisky he had in his pocket, which he had originally intended to give to his mother as a gift at the party.

When he got back to the side of the road more than two hours later, bleeding from a gash on his head, police officers, an ambulance crew and the fire service were searching for him, having been alerted by motorists concerned about the abandoned car.

Shaw admitted having four beers earlier in the evening, but insisted he had only drunk the whisky after his fall. He denied driving while he was over the legal limit on the M90 Inverkeithing to Perth road on 19 April.

However, the sheriff rejected his version of events after the court heard Shaw had a previous conviction for drink-driving.

He was banned from driving for three years, and fined £500.

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