Two-year prison sentence for Buchan teenager

The High Court in Edinburgh
The High Court in Edinburgh

A teenager who caused his friend’s death by driving dangerously on a secluded country road has been given a two-year prison sentence.

Adam Youngson,18, caused the death of William Sangster,19, when his vehicle struck a tree in Mintlaw on November 29 2014.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how moments before the incident, another car being driven by Scott Neil,19, came close to the back of Youngson’s red Ford Fiesta.

Youngson reacted by accelerating away from Neil’s car. However, Neil then broke the speed limit to keep up with Youngson, who had passed his driving test four months earlier.

But Youngson - who ignored his passengers requests for him to drive carefully - lost control of his vehicle, causing it to leave the road.

Mr Sangster, of Auchnagatt, was a back seat passenger in Mr Youngson’s car. Fire and Rescue staff had to cut him free. But doctors pronounced him dead at the scene.

On Wednesday, judge Lady Wolffe ordered Youngson to serve a period of detention. She also banned him from driving for six years.

Neil was ordered to perform 150 hours community service. He was also banned from driving from 18 months.

She imposed the sentences after hearing how Youngson had recently lost his mother and suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which had been caused by the collision.

She also accepted that Youngson and Neil were both “genuinely remorseful” for their actions.

Lady Wolffe said: “This is a sad and difficult case. You will both have to carry the burden of your actions for the rest of your lives.”

Youngson’s defence counsel Shahid Latif told the court on Wednesday that his client was truly sorry for what he had done.

Mr Latif said his client had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

He added: “There are no exceptional circumstances in this case. He accepts that a period of detention is the correct disposal. Mr Youngson does not seek to minimise his culpability.

“What happened that night is entirely down his own actions. He accepts full responsibility.”

“He has endured a troubled upbringing. His mother has passed away.

“I would also refer you to the Criminal Justice and Social Work report. He has been assessed at the lowest risk profile for reoffending. He has a good work ethic.

“I would ask you to impose a sentence on him that will allow him to make a something of himself upon release.”

Neil’s defence counsel Gavin Anderson told the court that his client also regretted his involvement.

He added: “He has learned a very important lesson.”

Lady Wolffe imposed the community payback order on Neil because his driving did not cause Mr Sangster’s death.

She imposed the jail term on Youngson and said it was the most appropriate sentence in the circumstances of the case.