Drug-driver who killed biker in crash then tried to blame him jailed

Andrew Taylor ploughed head on into Brian Wilson while he was out for a ride on his bike after finishing his shift.

Drug-driver Andrew Taylor who killed ‘much-loved’ motorcyclist in crash then tried to blame him jailed Wilson family via Digby Brown

A drug-driver who killed a motorcyclist before trying to blame the victim for the crash has been jailed for 12 years.

Andrew Taylor was then said to have gone on to make the “outrageous” suggestion the devastated family of Brian Wilson had been motivated by money in making up claims about the tragedy.

Taylor ploughed head on into the much-loved 60-year-old dad-of-two on the A72 near Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders on April 23, 2022.

The 48-year-old was so under the influence that he fell asleep in the back of an ambulance shortly after the fatal smash.

Taylor then initially lied that he had been on the correct side of the road and that Mr Wilson’s bike had crossed over and hit him.

On Thursday, Taylor was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of causing death by dangerous driving while unfit due to a number of drugs including cocaine.

In scathing remarks, Lord Arthurson said Taylor had made “wholly inappropriate and scurrilous” comments about Mr Wilson’s relatives.

The judge added he had “doubled down” by “further victim blaming” in a pre-sentencing report.

He told Taylor: “You proceeded yet again to blame Mr Wilson for causing the collision.

“In my view, you outrageously made the appalling suggestion that his family were financially motivated.

“The author of the report describes your attitude to the consequences of your actions as blase and questioned the authenticity of your apparently stated remorse.”

Lord Arthurson gave no discount for the guilty plea for a number of reasons including Taylor’s “conduct” and him failing to turn up for an earlier court date.

Taylor, of Galashiels, was also banned from driving for 16 years.

Prosecutor Mark Mohammed KC earlier told how Taylor and a woman had spent the previous evening downing alcohol and taking cocaine until late.

On the morning of the crash, he got behind the wheel of his Mini Countryman to go to a shop to get more drink.

He was then on the A72 when the collision occurred.

Mr Wilson – who worked for Scottish Water – meantime had gone out for a ride on his Suzuki bike after finishing his shift.

He texted his wife to state what he was doing. The couple, of Newtongrange, Midlothian, were due to go their daughter’s later that day.

Mr Mohammed then explained: “Taylor drove around a bend, crossed the centre line of the road and into the opposing side.

“As he did so, Mr Wilson was approaching the bend. Taylor steered sharply to the left around the same time he collided with the motorcycle.

“Mr Wilson did not have sufficient time avoid the collision.”

The grandfather was thrown from his bike and suffered “multiple injuries”.

The court heard – despite efforts by witnesses including an off-duty nurse – he sadly died at the scene.

HIs wife meantime had returned home and was surprised to see her husband was not back.

Mr Mohammed said: “She contacted a friend who was a paramedic to ask whether any accidents had been reported.

“She then went out to begin looking for her husband when she got a call from police asking her to return home.

“She did so and was subsequently advised of the fatal collision.”

The court heard other motorists at the crash described Taylor as “not fully with it” and “under the influence of something”.

He stated to one: “I am a bit shocked. I think I maybe killed him.”

Taylor was also checked for any injuries.

Mr Mohammed said: “The paramedics formed the view that he was intoxicated. While in the ambulance, he fell asleep.”

It was days later that he was arrested for causing the death and he claimed to have been on the “right side” of the road.

The court heard a blood sample had the presence of a number of substances including cocaine, a sedative called Clonazepam and morphine.

Taylor had initially been due to face the charge at a court hearing last December, but he failed to appear.

The court was told he already had a number of road traffic convictions.

In a statement – released through lawyers Digby Brown – the victim’s family said: “Taylor killed Brian for selfish, criminal and avoidable reasons.

“The fact he tried to blame Brian – despite a mountain of evidence – is objectively despicable. He should never have been behind the wheel.

“This man ripped a family apart and, yet, he does not seem to care.

“The judge promised a substantial custodial sentence – we are glad to see this outcome.”

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