Dumfries taxi driver left man lying in road

Image caption, The court was told Brown drove off after hitting the man who had been lying in the roadway

A Dumfries taxi driver ran a man over and left him lying in the street while he went to pick up a fare, a court has heard.

Andrew Brown, 47, admitted leaving the man injured in the town's Newall Terrace to the danger of his life.

He thought he had hit a bag of rubbish but drove off even after finding out it had been a man lying in the road.

He was told to pay £5,000 compensation, given 10 points on his licence and also 300 hours community service.

Dumfries Sheriff Court heard how Brown pulled to a halt last August after striking something in road.

He checked to see what it was but when he found it was a man he drove off to pick up a passenger 10 miles away.

Depute fiscal Pamela Rhodes said it was only on his return from that journey that he went to the police station to report the incident.

Meanwhile, an off-duty policeman had come across David Woodward lying with critical injuries.

An anonymous caller had also phoned emergency services.

Mr Woodward, who had been heading home after being out for a drink, spent several weeks in hospital with multiple fractures and a tear to his spleen.

Brown, of West Riverside Drive, Dumfries, a taxi driver for 30 years with a clean licence, admitted culpably and recklessly leaving the injured man lying on the roadway.

He also admitted failing to report the accident as soon as reasonably practicable afterwards.

The depute fiscal stressed that there was no suggestion that Brown's driving was at fault.

Crash investigators came to the conclusion that the victim had been lying on the roadway when he was hit.

Suspension completed

Solicitor Gavin Orr also pointed out that there was nothing to suggest that Brown's driving in this incident was blameworthy in any way.

He said: "The driver had simply panicked after seeing the injured man.

"There were doors opening and people coming out and he believed the victim would be seen right away.

"There was just no rationality about his thoughts as he panicked although blameless."

He appealed to the sheriff to deal with the case in a way in which his client would not lose his licence having already completed a four-month suspension imposed by the local authority.

Sheriff Kenneth Ross said he took all the factors into account but there was still a "callous disregard" in the way he had driven off.

However, in the circumstances he said he could step back from a custodial sentence.

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