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Delays to toddler crash death trial sparks concern from sheriff

By Ali Morrison

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Sheriff Neil Wilson at Wick Sheriff Court..
Sheriff Neil Wilson at Wick Sheriff Court..

A sheriff has expressed concern over the lack of progress in the case of a car crash in Caithness that claimed the life of a two-year-old boy and seriously injured his mother.

Sheriff Neil Wilson spoke out after hearing there were critical issues yet to be addressed in the preparations for the trial.

He told prosecution and defence agents at Wick, last week: "It is almost two-and-a-half years since this accident occurred and we are not ready for trial. I am trying to move this on."

Solicitor James Mackay said that he was awaiting a telematics – black box – report carried for the Crown by an expert, on the Nissan Qashqai driven by Sonya Henderson charged with careless driving and causing the death of two-year-old Iain Mackay on August 22, 2021, at Occumster.

Mr Mackay took exception to the fact that the Crown had the telematics assessment carried out on Henderson's vehicle, alone and not the other vehicle involved, a Peugeot 208, despite pressing for this to be done.

David Barclay said that the telematics investigation on the Nissan Qashqai had been completed and once the Crown expert had seen it, the document would be made available to the defence.

The fiscal added that the Crown was not proposing to have a telematics examination of the Peugeot carried out and would be proceeding "with what (evidence) we have".

The indictment Henderson (42) is facing alleges that she drove carelessly, failed to maintain proper observation caused her Nissan Qashqai to enter its opposing carriageway into the path of the oncoming Peugeot driven by Savannah Nixey, and failed to brake, whereby both vehicles were damaged.

The charge further states that Ms Nixey suffered injuries and Ashlyne Mackay – a passenger in the Peugeot – suffered severe injuries. Another passenger, her son Iain Mackay, was so severely injured that he subsequently died,

The sheriff continued the case until February 20 to enable the outstanding case preparation issues to be finalised.

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