NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Driver accused of causing Anthony Healy's death could have seen him'

Police at the scene Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption Anthony Healy had been rollerblading when he was hit by the van

A van driver accused of causing the death of a nine-year-old boy by careless driving could have see him before the tragedy, a court has heard.

Anthony Healy died on a housing estate in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, in July 2012 after being hit by a van driven by Blair Fearn.

Mr Fearn, 26, denies reversing and striking Anthony with the vehicle.

A jury at Aberdeen High Court heard that his statement to police "could not be correct."

Anthony was pronounced dead at the scene soon after the collision.

Rollerblades claim

Sgt Steven Manson said Mr Fearn's police statement, read to the jury in a joint minute, could not be correct.

The van driver claimed he had checked his mirrors and had not seen the child approaching from behind the van from a nearby lane.

He said that the first time he saw the youngster was when he spotted his rollerblades underneath the van reflected in the side mirrors.

But Sgt Manson said: "Albeit it is not known what speed the deceased was travelling on his rollerblades, he would have been visible to Blair Fearn through the mirrors for some considerable time prior to the collision.

"It would have been possible to see him.

"At no point could the deceased's roller blades be seen from the mirrors on the van.

"As such the deceased's roller blades could not have been seen at any point during the collision."

Loud music

Sgt Manson said that a number of marks on the van could be attributed to Healy being dragged under the vehicle, which was reversing because of a missed turn off.

The court heard police found that Mr Fearn was due to make a collection at a nearby flat at the time of the accident.

Anthony had been making his way to a friends house on his rollerblades when he was hit.

The jury was shown a picture of the crash scene with a blood trail leading away from an Xbox games console controller that the youngster had dropped.

Sgt Manson said investigating officers also found that the van stereo was very loud when they later examined the van.

In his police statement Mr Fearn claimed to have heard something "thump" off the back door as he was reversing.

Sgt Manson said: "When we switched on the ignition we found the stereo to be extremely loud.

"We had a number of officers some distance away who could hear it.

"Being as loud as it was it was unlikely that Blair Fearn would have heard a thump."

Faulty equipment

During the vehicle examination police investigators found marks where Anthony's legs or rollerblades had scuffed underneath the vehicle during the collision.

But these did not match up with Mr Fearn's account of the young boy hitting the door. He said it was more likely that the boy hit a step at the bottom of the doors.

Police also discovered that a rear-facing camera activated when the van was put in reverse did not to work in bright sunlight.

The camera viewing screen - in place of a rear view mirror- in the driver's cab was also found to be loose and hanging at an angle - out of the driver's view unless it was physically held up.

The trial before Sheriff Graeme Buchanan continues.

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