Crash witnesses locked themselves in car in fear

Accident happened beyond Climpy, near Black Law Wind Farm.
Accident happened beyond Climpy, near Black Law Wind Farm.

A driver has been ordered to carry out unpaid work for careering off the road at a bend near Climpy, then abusing two witnesses, alarming them so much that they locked themselves in a car to await the police’s arrival.

Michael Kemp, 30, now of Kirkfieldbank Road, Kirkfieldbank, has also been disqualified from driving.

“This is quite appalling, your reaction to ladies coming to help you in a situation of your own making, an appalling piece of driving,” sheriff Nikola Stewart told him.

Kemphad earlier admitted careless driving and behaving in a threatening or abusive way towards the women in February 2015, and sentence had been deferred for reports.

The court heard that Kemp, driving a black Lexus, had overtaken one woman driving north on the B715 at Climpy, and she had seen him then take a blind bend on the wrong side of the road.

Following him, she saw him take a second bend, also on the wrong side of the road, but that time, he was confronted with another driver, another woman, coming towards him.

“She noticed the black Lexus come round the corner on the other side of the road,” said depute fiscal Ziad Hassan.

“The end of the vehicle spun out. In her opinion, the driver had lost control.

“She then observed the Lexus spin to her right and come off the road, and she saw a puff of smoke in her rear-view mirror.”

She drove round the bend and flagged down the first witness, warning her of the accident ahead, then both went to where the Lexus was, off the road on an area of marshland.

They checked that Kemp was OK, but one woman dialled 999 as smoke was coming out from the engine of the Lexus, and he began to shout and swear at both of them, calling them troublemakers, and threatening to smash up one of their cars.

The women then locked themselves into a car while they waited for the police to arrive.

“He seems to have anger management issues,” commented the sheriff.

A solicitor said that Kemp had been for counselling in the past. He had spent time as a child in the care system and had been “in and out of jail”, including spending a considerable part of 2016 in prison.

The solicitor asked the sheriff not to jail Kemp or to disqualify him, but he realised that was a “high target”, he said.

The driving incident pre-dated his most recent prison sentence, for a drugs matter, and since being released in October, he said, Kemp had not reoffended, and a relationship was providing him with some stability.

“Give him the mother and father of all community payback orders,” suggested the solicitor.

Kemp had been at college when the driving incident happened, then had been working as a courier, but he was awaiting the outcome of this case before registering again for such work.

Sheriff Stewart agreed to a “fairly intesive period of rehabilitation rather than a prison sentence”.

She imposed a one-year community payback order, with 180 hours of unpaid work, for the incident with the women, and she banned him from the road for six months and fined him £250, for what was the “very, very top end” of careless driving.

“It was an appalling, extended piece of driving,” she said.