Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Driver Colin Snell sentenced over East Lothian bus crash death

Colin Snell Image copyright Ciaran Donnelly
Image caption Colin Snell was sentenced to 200 hours of community service for causing death by driving without undue care and attention

A driver who admitted causing the death of a pensioner when his car struck a bus in East Lothian has been given 200 hours community service

Colin Snell, 69, failed to stop at a give way sign at junction on the A1087 road near Dunbar, East Lothian, on 18 September 2013.

He was also banned from driving for three years at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

The force of the crash caused the bus to hit a cottage. A bus passenger was thrown from his seat and later died.

Alexander Shiell, 79, hit a handrail in the bus and then landed in the aisle, the court heard.

His health worsened in the months after the incident. He developed pneumonia and died at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on 5 February.

Degree of culpability

Sheriff Thomas Welsh told Snell, of Cockburnspath in the Borders, that his good character and his age meant that he did not have to impose a jail sentence.

Sheriff Welsh said: "I have no doubt that driving displaying the level of carelessness and the degree of culpability for which you are responsible would in the absence of an alternative means of disposal attract a custodial sentence.

"However, I must be satisfied custody is the only appropriate disposal before I can impose it.

"In your case I am not so satisfied. Given your age, your previous good character and driving record, I am satisfied that there is an alternative punishment to custody."

In December Snell pleaded guilty to a charge of causing the death of Mr Shiell, of East Linton, East Lothian, by driving without undue care and attention.

Sentence had been deferred until Thursday for the court to obtain reports about Snell's character.

Image caption The bus was embedded in a cottage on Edinburgh Road

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