Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Julie Watson killed cyclist after using phone while driving

Julie Watson Image copyright Lesley Donald
Image caption Julie Watson was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving

A woman has been found guilty of killing a cyclist after using her mobile phone while driving.

Julie Watson, 36, deleted a record of the call after she hit Alistair Speed on the A91, near Gateside in Fife, in September 2013.

The mother-of-two was found guilty of causing the death of Mr Speed, 49, from Glenrothes, by driving dangerously.

Watson, from Kinross, was remanded in custody and will be sentenced next month.

Judge Lord Kinclaven told her: "In the circumstances I am not satisfied bail should be continued."

Mr Speed, an experienced road cyclist, died from severe head injuries suffered in the crash.

His sister, Mhairi Laffoley, said the effect of the incident on her family had been "horrendous".

Wilful act

She told the court: "My parents died within 12 weeks of the accident."

Ms Laffoley said her brother was "a very, very competent cyclist".

"He was very steady. He didn't take risks," she said.

Advocate depute Jim Keegan QC, prosecuting, said the results of the crash had been "catastrophic".

He said: "The use of a mobile phone, especially calling out, is a conscious, wilful act. The use of a phone when driving, a hand-held phone, is an offence."

The prosecutor told jurors that Watson had used her phone, paid no attention to the road and crashed into Mr Speed and then tried to cover it up.

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