Sozzled driver who cut up Scots bus and smashed into HGV while seven times the limit spared jail

A sozzled Scots motorist has been spared jail after carving up a bus and crashing into an HGV while nearly seven times the drink-drive limit. Crawford Sharp had a bottle of vodka stashed in the door pocket of his black BMW 3 series when he pranged his GBP30,000 car. And police officers probing the crash found an empty bottle of Barr Cola, which smelled heavily of vodka, on his passenger seat.

Sharp, 38, pleaded guilty to charges of drink-driving and careless driving over the April 19, 2021 smash, which took place in Renfrew, near Glasgow, previously. When the kitchen designer returned to the dock at Paisley Sheriff Court yesterday to learn his fate, Sheriff Tom McCartney spared him prison.

a close up of a street in front of a building: Paisley Sheriff Court (C) Andrew Neil Paisley Sheriff Court

He said: “This is clearly a very serious matter, given the high reading [of alcohol] and the previous conviction [for a similar offence]. “The level of alcohol was extremely high.

I am going to deal with this by way of a sentence which is an alternative to a prison sentence.” He placed Sharp, of Helensburgh, on a Community Payback Order, which will see him carrying out 120 hours’ unpaid work in the next 12 months, reduced from 180 hours, as he admitted his guilt. He was also fined GBP400, reduced from GBP600, ordered to pay a GBP20 victim surcharge, and banned from driving for 40 months.

And he was told the ban will be reduced by 25% if he completes a drink-driving rehabilitation course. Defence solicitor David Mitchell had told the court that Sharp had turned to drink to cope with the stress of his work, his family life, after his dad was diagnosed with cancer, and his personal life. He said he had been the victim of an identity theft with an unidentified crook taking out bank cards, credit cards and loans in his name – leading to him having to pay back GBP130,000.

And he said that police were looking into the identity theft in a bid to track down the con responsible. The court heard previously that Sharp cut in front of the McGill’s passenger bus in the town’s Paisley Road and ploughed into a lorry waiting at traffic lights on Wright Street. He pranged his motor twice into the truck, before eyewitnesses watched him drive away in the BMW.

But he returned to the scene around 20 minutes later and was pulled over and reported to police. Procurator fiscal depute Kirsten Brierley explained: “He has passed in front of the bus and this meant the bus driver has to perform an emergency stop to avoid collision. “The accused’s vehicle has then stopped in front of the HGV at Wright Street.

He then has driven forward, striking the front of his bumper with the front of the HGV. “The accused then drives forward two more times, striking the front of the HGV in the same place as before.” Police recovered an unopened 35 CL bottle of Glen’s vodka from the driver’s door, and an empty bottle of cola, “which smelt of vodka”.

Sharp was arrested and taken to the police station where he gave a reading of 147 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – nearly seven times the 22mcg limit.

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