A convicted drink driver whose “dangerous” actions behind the wheel of a powerful BMW caused the death of a woman has been jailed for six years.
Raymond Ward, 30, had passed his test just three months before his BMW 218 D Sports Coupe collided with Claire Anderson’s purple Ford Fiesta in Orkney.
Ward has two previous convictions – one of them was for drink driving, an offence which he committed when he didn’t have a driving licence.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard how the smash took place on the A964 road between Kirkwall and Orphir on June 14, 2019.
Motorists saw Ward driving the 140 brake horse powered motor, which has a top speed of more than 130 miles per hour, on the wrong side of the road moments before the collision.
Moments later, Ward’s car drove struck Ms Anderson’s vehicle. Onlookers tried to save her life but she succumbed to her injuries.
Jurors returned a verdict of guilty to a charge of Mr Ward causing Ms Anderson’s death by dangerous driving.
The jurors returned a verdict to a charge which stated that Ward drove dangerously at excessive speed in close proximity to a vehicle.
He then accelerated harshly, drove round a bend at speed, before veering onto the “opposing carriage way.”
Ward then overtook a Transit van being driven by Robert Wetherall at excessive speed, crossed again onto the other side of the road. The motorist then continued to break road traffic laws before colliding with Ms Anderson’s car.
Both vehicles suffered extensive damage. On Friday, the court heard how Ward has two previous convictions – one of them was for drink driving, an offence which he committed when he didn’t have a driving licence.
This prompted judge Tait to send Ward to prison and give him a ten year ban from driving. Passing sentence, she made reference to a victim impact statement which had been provided to the court from Ms Anderson’s relatives.
She had also heard from defence advocate Edith Forrest who told the court of her client’s shame and remorse for his actions.
Judge Tait said: “Ms Anderson was entirely blameless. She was a 24-year-old woman who was a part of a close and loving family.
“Her family are greatly affected by her loss – they found it difficult to provide a Victim Impact Statement but I have read about the impact that her loss has had upon each family member.
“I have listened to everything which has been said to me on your behalf by your counsel. I take into account your expressions of remorse.
“However, this is a very serious offence and I have concluded that a custodial sentence is the only way to deal with this matter.
“The appropriate sentence in this case will be one of six years.”
On Friday, his defence advocate told the court that Ward is undergoing counselling and told the author of the report of his feelings about the prospect of prison.
She added: “He told the author of the Criminal Justice Social Work Report that he is terrified of a prison sentence.”
Ms Forrest told judge Tait that he has continually expressed remorse for how Ms Anderson died.
She added: “Mr Ward again asks me to express an apology to the family of Ms Anderson.
“It may not be welcome or wanted but he wishes me to express his condolences to the family.
“He feels deep remorse and he thinks about the incident on a daily basis but accepts that it will be minimal in comparison to the feelings of loss that will be experienced by Ms Anderson’s family.
“He also feels a deep sense of shame and it is something that he feels on a daily basis living in a small community.”
However, judge Tait told Ward there was no alternative to custody. She also spoke to members of Ms Anderson’s family who were present in court.
Judge Tait added: “I express my condolences to the family of Ms Anderson.”