Hit-and-run driver who left injured motorcyclist in a field jailed for seven years

Rider tried to drag himself out of dark field after driver promised help but never returned

A HIT-AND-RUN driver who told an injured motorcyclist he would get help but never returned has been jailed for more than seven years.

Alan Tait, 36, fell asleep at the wheel of his Volvo and hit motorcyclist Ewan Simpson, a policeman on his way home from work in October last year.

He asked if the officer was okay and then left him alone in a dark field after midnight, despite a plea from the rider to stay.  

The 32-year-old victim suffered multiple fractures and had his right leg amputated below the knee as a result of the crash.

He got caught on wire while attempting to drag himself out of the field he’d been thrown into, and hurled his helmet into the road to attract attention.

Tait told a passing driver who gave him a lift that no one else had been involved in the accident, and declined an offer to use the driver's phone.

Tait, of Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He was jailed for seven years and three months and banned from driving for 10 years at the High Court in Lanark.

He admitted five other charges including driving without insurance and failing to get help after the crash, which happened on the A952 near Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire, shortly after midnight on October 27.

Sentencing him, judge Lord Bannatyne said: ‘You must have known that it was unlikely the complainer would be found given where he was and you continued this appalling behaviour by getting a lift and denying to that person there was anyone else injured and when you had the chance to call for help you did not do so.

‘The complainer must have been in some pain to crawl through a field to try and get help and it is difficult to imagine the fear he must have suffered that night.’

Tait’s defence lawyer Emma Toner said: ‘He accepts this all happened as a result of him driving while tired and falling asleep at the wheel and in doing so he drove dangerously.

‘He accepts he did not act properly by leaving the scene, failing to seek help and failed Mr Simpson in every way.

‘He has faced up to the devastating and life altering consequences his actions have caused.

‘The extent of the injuries caused is something that he thinks about every day and it weighs heavily on his conscience.

‘He wishes to extend his sincerest apologies to Mr Simpson and his family.

‘He has expressed genuine shame and accepts the inevitability of a custodial sentence.’

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