A MAN who killed his girlfriend in a horror road smash has avoided a jail term.
Jamie Murray admitted causing the death of Sara Louise Scott by driving without due care and attention on a rural road in north-east Fife.
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard how Murray lost control of his Seat Cupra car on the A92 between New Inn and Freuchie on November 5, 2010, causing it to mount a verge.
He was driving 20-year-old Sara to Glenrothes when the accident happened.
The car then went into a spin, repeatedly rolled over and collided with a verge on the opposite side of the road before landing on its side.
Sara, from St Andrews, suffered severe injuries as a result of the crash, and died the following day at Dunfermline’s Queen Margaret Hospital.
Murray had been remanded in custody last month after failing to turn up for an interview with social workers for a pre-sentencing report - claiming he was ‘tired’.
But now a sheriff has told him he would be released - and would carry out community service instead of serving a prison sentence.
Murray, 22, of Queens Gardens, Ladybank, Fife, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of causing death by careless driving.
His defence lawyer, Alan Davie, said Murray was ‘not entirely sure’ how the crash happened - and had ‘suffered greatly’ in the aftermath.
He said: “He doesn’t think he was speaking to Sara or arguing with her at the time
“He’s not entirely sure what caused this but he had a minor lapse in concentration which resulted in the left wheels catching the verge and causing him to lose control.
“He fully accepts that he was careless and this has led to terrible consequences. These are consequences he will have to live with for the rest of his life.
“He lost a long-term girlfriend he cared about and he recognises her parents have lost their daughter and she leaves behind a sister and two brothers.
“He himself is understandably distraught about the death of his girlfriend.”
Mr Davie continued: “This is a case of careless driving where the results were tragic and disproportionate to his level of carelessness.
“It would be reasonable to say that most people who have driven for a long time have had such lapses without such consequences.
“His mistake on this occasion has had such awful consequences. He says he has no intention of driving again in the future.”
Sheriff Grant McCulloch ordered Murray to perform 275 hours’ community service, be supervised for two years by social workers and banned him from driving for six years.
He said: “I did not know Sara Scott but by all accounts she was a lovely girl, sorely missed by all who knew her.
“A moment’s lapse leads to this tragedy, depriving a family of a much-loved daughter.”
Sheriff McCulloch told Murray that a custodial sentence would have been inevitable had his drving been dangerous.
“This was carelessness and in these particular circumstances custody is not necessary, “ he said.
“You have served three weeks in custody for failing to turn up for reports - I trust that having spent that time in custody you have reflected on that.”