Newburgh driver (21) admits causing death of friend

Jamie Fleming
Jamie Fleming

A drink driver from Newburgh who caused the death of a teenager told police he did not think the alcohol he had consumed had affected him.

Jamie Fleming said he “felt fine” – despite being nearly double the permitted drink drive limit after downing three pints of lager, one and a half vodka and cokes and a further shot of spirits, a court heard.

Fleming (21) lost control of his uninsured Ford Focus while speeding on a motorway slip road near Perth and crashed claiming the life of his passenger 18-year-old Ricky Brown.

The apprentice plumber admitted causing the death of Mr Brown by driving carelessly and with excess alcohol on March 18 last year near Perth, when he appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh.

He drove at excessive speed, failed to negotiate a bend and lost control of the vehicle.

Fleming, of Hill Road, Newburgh, was calculated to have 140 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The limit is 80 in 100 millilitres of blood.

Crash investigators reckoned that the car could have been travelling at up to 83 mph before the incident.

Advocate depute David Nicolson said they could not say how many times it rolled before stopping.

Firefighters were called in to get both Fleming and Mr Brown, who suffered head injuries, out of the crashed car.

Mr Nicolson said on the evening of March 17 Fleming had collected Mr Brown, of Mugdrum Place, Newburgh, before picking up Ross Anderson at Bridge of Earn and driving to Perth to watch a televised football match in The Foundry pub.

After the first half they decided to go to another bar, The Sandeman, to watch the rest of the game and Fleming continued to drink.

They then went on to another bar before Fleming and Mr Brown left and tried to get into another pub but were refused entry.

Mr Anderson arranged for a taxi to take him home during the evening.

Fleming and Mr Brown returned to his car and drove to a car park at the South Inch.

Another motorist pulled up alongside and had a brief conversation before driving off followed by Fleming.

Both cars headed towards the M90 and Fleming accelerated hard to overtake the other vehicle and continued to accelerate down the slip road.

The following driver, Michael Davie, lost sight of his car but towards the end of the slip road saw a cloud of dust and then the headlights of a car which he realised was rolling in the road ahead of him.

He stopped andand contacted emergency services.

After they were freed from the car, both driver and passenger were taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee where Mr Brown later died.

Fleming, who was breathalysed before going for treatment, was later interviewed by police and said he had drunk three pints of lager, a vodka and coke, a shot of spirits and sipped half a vodka and coke.

The advocate depute said: “He was asked to describe his sobriety given the number of alcoholic drinks he had consumed on the night of the incident.

“He stated that he felt fine and didn’t think it affected him.”

“He said he believed he was travelling at about 75mph at the time of the incident.”

Fleming had bought the car about a week earlier.

“He stated he did not have current insurance for the vehicle and explained his attempts to get insurance, but that he had been put off due to it being too expensive,” said Mr Nicolson.

Defence solicitor advocate Iain Paterson said Fleming had made “a catastrophic error of judgement”, specifically driving while under the influence of alcohol.

The judge, Lady Stacey, deferred sentence on Fleming until next month for the preparation of a background report.