Prestonpans man tried to take his life in lamppost smash

Haddington Sheriff Court

Haddington Sheriff Court

A Prestonpans man attempted to commit suicide by drinking vodka then crashing his car into a lamppost after he had confronted his parents about alleged childhood abuse.

James Macleod, 13 Pypers Wynd, had been drinking all day and had been dropped off by his wife at his parent’s house in Musselburgh before his mother was later forced to call police due to his erratic behaviour.

But, when Macleod arrived back at his wife’s home in Prestonpans she saw him take a car and drive off.

The 34-year-old was then found by police after he had driven his car into a lamppost on the outskirts of the town.

Last Wednesday, depute procurator fiscal Gerard Drugan told Haddington Sheriff Court: “The accused was in the home address of his wife and began to drink about 10.15am. His wife dropped him off at his mother’s and around 6pm his wife saw him very drunk and drinking vodka straight from the bottle.

“Around 9pm his mother calls the police due to his behaviour and to take him home, which they obliged. He was then seen to take a car and his wife opted to contact the police. There was then an accident involving that car, and it was found up on a grassy verge. The accused was being treated by paramedics.”

Mr Drugan also said the fire service were called to the accident as Macleod had driven into a lamppost which resulted in exposed wiring.

Macleod was then taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment but it was found he had only suffered “minor injuries”.

Defence agent Mr Hendry said Macleod told the court the accident had come about after his client “attempted to take his own life” after confronting his parents about alleged abuse he suffered as a youngster.

Mr Henry added: “Mr Macleod has sought to deal with his problems as he is now drink-free for the past 50 days. He has very strong support from his wife, he is close to his children and he is genuinely committed to changing his ways.”

He added his client was “genuinely remorseful about events” and he has not offended since July.

Macleod was so convinced he would receive a jail sentence he turned up at Haddington Sheriff Court on Wednesday with a bag full of his belongings.

He pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle while holding just an expired provisional driving licence, and to driving the vehicle without the proper insurance cover at Prestongrange, Prestonpans, on July 3, 2013.

He also admitted to driving the vehicle having consumed so much alcohol that he had 128 milligrammes of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrammes.

Sheriff Peter Braid told Macleod the offences “would merit a custodial sentence”, but recognised the man had made steps to change his life for the better.

Sheriff Braid banned Macleod from driving for four years, and ordered him to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Macleod was also placed on an Offenders Supervision Requirement for 12 months, and told to come back to court for a review on March 12 next year.

More stories from Haddington Sheriff Court in this week’s East Lothian News, on sale now.


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