Young drivers cleared of dangerous driving near Garve in the Highlands
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Two men have been cleared of charges connected to an incident in which a 20-year-old from Inverness died.
Callum Fraser (21) of Miers Avenue, Inverness, and Colin Maclennan (24), of Park Terrace, Strathpeffer, were on trial at Inverness Sheriff Court charged with dangerous driving in the minutes leading up to the tragedy on February 25, 2018.
In March this year Mikey Durdle from Beauly was jailed for three years for causing the death of Kyle Robertson during a trip by a group of friends from Dingwall to the west coast.
Both Fraser and Maclennan were part of the group.
They denied charges of driving at excessive speed, racing and jockeying for position and overtaking when it was unsafe to do so before the fatal collision.
They were cleared of the charges today when their solicitors, Sam Milligan and Willie Young, moved a no case to answer plea on the basis that there was insufficient corroborative evidence that they had driven in the manner alleged.
After adjourning, Sheriff Sara Matheson upheld the plea that there was no case to answer and returned not guilty verdicts in relation to both accused.
"On the basis of the evidence I have heard I am satisfied that the Crown cannot prove the case beyond reasonable doubt," she said.
But the sheriff also added that she wished to make it clear to anyone racing around the Highlands that the court would take it seriously, as it can lead to the loss of young lives.
"Although you were found not guilty I hope you have learned your lesson from this tragedy, as you were involved," she told both men.
Another driver who was also with the group, Liam Bremner (22) of Macleod Place, Dingwall, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at a previous sitting of the court and was fined £1200 and banned from driving for 16 months.
Mr Robertson died when Durdle's Audi S3 struck his Seat Leon as he overtook it on the A835.
The collision caused the Seat to leave the road, crossing a verge and railway line before striking a tree.