An engineer who caused a crash which left two pensioners with life-changing injuries after forgetting he was driving on the wrong side of the road has been ordered to perform unpaid work.
Jean Baptiste Ozan, of Adelaide Place, collided head-on with Julia and Roger Guest’s car on the B945 Tayport to St Michaels road on July 25 2019.
Julia Guest, 78, spent nine weeks in hospital due to an arm injury while her 79-year-old husband suffered multiple injuries.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard their lives have now been altered as a result the crash.
Ozan, a French national, had just returned from a three-week holiday in his homeland.
A sheriff ruled Ozan could be spared a prison sentence due to the “unusual” circumstances.
“While the nature of your driving was dangerous, it was not intentional,” Sheriff Jillian Martin-Brown said. “You had just returned from a visit to France and made an error in driving in the right-hand side of the road.
“When you saw Mr and Mrs Guest, you believed they were driving in the wrong side of the road and, instinctively, steered right.”
Prosecutor Marie Irvine said previously: “Both witnesses became aware of an oncoming vehicle exiting a bend and travelling towards them on the wrong side of the road.
“They then collided head-on. Roger Guest was travelling at around 40mph. Both vehicles came to an immediate stop and ended up on the grass verge.
“Other witnesses stopped their vehicles. The accused appeared and said he had been driving on the wrong side of the road and the collision was his fault.”
Julia Guest confirmed in May 2020 she and her husband are still suffering the effects of the crash.
She said she cannot enjoy her hobbies of bowling, embroidery and gardening the way she used to. The court heard the couple do not hold any animosity towards the 27-year-old.
Ozan pleaded guilty to causing the couple serious injury by driving his car dangerously on the wrong side of the road and colliding head on with their vehicle.
Defence solicitor Ross Donnelly said Ozan was unlikely to appear in court again following his conviction. Mr Donnelly said: “He seems to be a genuinely decent and productive young man.”
As an alternative to custody, Ozan was ordered to perform 200 hours of unpaid work and banned from driving for two years.
Sheriff Martin-Brown added: “You have expressed considerable remorse. I noted that you have been praying for them with the church that you attend.
“It is a testament to their dignity they bear you no animosity.”
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