Man guilty of 'dangerous driving' in girl's death

A man has been found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving to a teenage girl.

Scott Manson was convicted at the High Court in Inverness on Friday.

The 20-year-old had passed his test only three days before the crash which claimed the life of 15-year-old Abigail Simpson.

Abigail was one of five passengers Manson was taking to a party in Castletown in Caithness in October 2007. One of the teenagers was in the boot of his Ford Fiesta.

The court heard how Manson had overtaken another car on the A836 Thurso to Castletown road. That car had then overtaken him. Manson overtook again, travelling at around 50 miles per hour as the car entered the Castletown 30 miles per hour zone.

As he approached a bend, Manson's car is thought to have hit a kerb, causing the back of the vehicle to strike a pillar. Abigail took the full force of the impact and died from her injuries.

Manson had pleaded not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, asking for a reduced plea of careless driving.

However, on Friday a jury found him guilty by majority.

Abigail's mother, Nicola Simpson, said “no words” could describe “the immense pain in our hearts”.

She said: “We knew from the beginning of these court proceedings that, no matter what the result, our daughter Abigail is never coming home. And as for how we feel, there are no words to describe the immense pain in our hearts. We miss Abigail so much every day and we will for the rest of our lives.”

Manson reacted emotionally to the verdict, openly crying in court. He had told the judge that he constantly thought about the accident.

Lord Pentland reminded him that the same was no doubt true for Abigail's parents and family, who were deserving of the deepest sympathy.

Manson will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh in July.