Denny incident: Van drink-driver three times over limit admits dangerous driving

A white van driver was more than three times the legal drink driving limit when he almost mowed down a dog walker who had to jump out of his way.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 2:22 pm

Ross Cochrane (56) appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday having pleaded guilty to drink driving and driving dangerously on Myothill Road and Karries Court, near Little Denny Reservoir.

He gave a reading of 74 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, when the legal limit 22 is microgrammes.

He also admitted resisting and assaulting police officers at Dunfermline Police Station.

Cochrane crashed his van near Karries Court, Denny

Sarah Smith, procurator fiscal depute, said: “It was 12.15pm and the witness was out walking her dog.

"She noticed a white van being driven at speed.

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"The vehicle attempted a manoeuvre around a corner at which point the driver lost control, heading directly for the witness, who had to jump out of the way to avoid the vehicle, which landed in some trees.

"The accused left - he appeared to be injured.”

Police were called and found the vehicle was registered to Central Paving Ltd, in Denny.

The accused had subsequently returned to workplace to advise his bosses what had happened and that the company van was no on its side on a ditch.

"He appeared to be intoxicated. When police arrived the managers directed them towards the accused, who was extremely hostile towards officers when they arrived and refused to engage with them.

"He smelled strongly of alcohol and, having been in a road collision, officers attempted to arrest him. He began to struggle violently with them and kicked a police officer to the body.”

The company had a tracker on the van Cochrane was driving and they were able to ascertain he was driving at excessive speed at the time of the accident.

The court heard Cochrane had reconciled with his partner, who said he was a “changed man” and had significantly reduced his alcohol intake.

Sheriff Christopher Shead said: “Your conduct was outrageous and plainly very dangerous.”

He placed Cochrane, who now lives in the Haggs area, on an 18-month supervised community payback order with the condition he complete 250 hours unpaid work within 12 months. He was also banned from driving for 18 months.

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