Man found not guilty in hit-and-run

Not guilty, Scott Brennan
Not guilty, Scott Brennan

A van driver from Cardenden, who knocked down a former work colleague in a hit-and-run after being assaulted by him, has walked free from court.

Scott Brennan admitted knocking down Blair Matthews outside his Kirkcaldy home but said it was an accident and a jury agreed.

Blair Matthew

Blair Matthew

Mr Matthews admitted punching Brennan before he was knocked down by his van, sustaining a broken neck. The feuding pair had once worked together but there was bad blood between them going back years, the court heard.

Brennan said when he realised he had struck Mr Matthews he “panicked” and drove off.

Mr Matthews said he remains in constant pain from his injuries and has lost his home and business as a result of not being able to work.

On trial before a jury at Dunfermline Sheriff Court was Scott Brennan (33), of Wallsgreen Gardens, Cardenden.

He denied that on September 27, at Oliphant Way, Kirkcaldy, he behaved in a threatening or abusive manner by threatening to set fire to the home of Blair Matthews, threatening to run him over and threatening to kill him.

He also denied that on the same day he assaulted Mr Matthews by driving a motor van at him, striking him with the vehicle whereby he was knocked to the ground, all to his severe injury.

The jury delivered not guilty verdicts on both charges.

Mr Matthews (39), told the court he now lives at another address in Kirkcaldy. He said the incident happened at around 9.30am on a Sunday morning and that there had been “issues” between him and the accused for the previous three years.

He was in his home when he heard loud revving from a van and when he looked out of the window he saw it was Brennan’s vehicle.

The witness said he went outside and asked Brennan if there was a problem.

He claimed his response was, “I’m going to f****** kill you.”

Mr Matthews said he felt “frightened and alarmed” adding, “Mr Brennan is a violent individual and at that point I was scared for my family.”

Mr Matthews said he saw Brennan moving to grab something from the passenger seat. He then punched Brennan in the face and kicked off a wing mirror.

He went on, “The van drove off at speed, travelled 100 metres and stopped suddenly. It reversed back as fast as a Transit van could go in reverse.”

The witness said the van kept coming towards him. “I thought it was going to stop but then it hit me,” he added.

Mr Matthews had moved into the rented four-bedroomed detached house with his family about ten weeks earlier. Before that they had lived in Cardenden.

The witness said as a result of the collision he had sustained a broken bone his neck and had to wear a collar for 24 weeks.

He said his construction groundworks business no longer exists because he was unable to work and this also resulted in him being evicted because he could not afford the rent.

“He said that day he was going to kill me and he’s left me to face this. It would probably be easier if he had just killed me,” said the witness.

Mr Matthews rubbed his neck throughout giving his evidence. He became agitated when being cross-examined by defence solicitor Charles Jackson and at one point stormed out of the witness box saying he needed a break.

Brennan, who also has a construction groundworks business, said he was going to price a job on the day of the incident and had driven into Oliphant Way by mistake.

As he was turning his van, Mr Matthews came out his house and confronted him. Brennan said he was then punched twice in the face, causing his nose to bleed. He said Mr Matthews also kicked his wing mirror off.

“I was angry. There was blood pouring out of my nose. I thought he’d crossed the line and was going to get out to fight him.”

Mr Brennan said he reversed his van “quite fast” and thought he was going to hit a fence so swerved to miss it. Moments later saw Mr Matthews lying on the ground. “I panicked then drove off,” he admitted.