A CARELESS motorist who was over the limit of a cocaine breakdown product caused a crash that left a motorcyclist seriously injured.

Despite being more than four times the limit for the drug when he caused the accident, Jamie Hay, 28, was never prosecuted for drug driving because police failed to meet the six-month deadline for charging him.

But at Carlisle's Rickergate court, the defendant admitted causing serious injury by careless driving. Prosecutor Jackie Partington outlined the offence.

It happened at 4.30pm on July 30, 2022, on the A7 near Longtown, as the motorcyclist rode his Yamaha motorbike towards Carlisle. The defendant was at the junction with the Camelot Holiday Park, initially remaining stationary at the junction.

Seven vehicles were seen to drive past on the main road in both directions and, after a van had passed, Hay pulled out towards Longtown.

He drove directly into the path of the oncoming motorcyclist. “The motorbike collided with the offside of Mr Hay’s vehicle,” said the prosecutor.

The rider was thrown seven metres along the road by the impact. Hay immediately went to help him.

The motorcyclist suffered multiple injuries, including a dislocated right shoulder, a leg bone fracture, and broken thumbs. He spent two weeks in hospital but has continued to suffer because of his injuries.

A test confirmed that at the time of the accident, Hay had 233mcg of benzoylecgonine (BZE) – a cocaine breakdown product – in his system. The legal limit for driving is 50mcg.

Miss Partington then read aloud a detailed impact statement that was made by the victim in January of this year.

He described suffering “a lot of nightmares” after the crash, in which he would relive the collision. For five months, he could get only three to four hours sleep per night and he lost confidence.

“I have a daughter and I can no longer do the things I used to do with her… I struggle to sit on the floor.” He had also had to give up social activities such as karting that he had previously enjoyed and he easily tired just walking.

The man said he was still not working and was able to stand for no more than an hour. He had been told he may need further surgery to replace his damaged kneecap.

If he did this privately because of the waiting list, it would cost £22,000. He had tried to return to his job as a forklift truck operator but had to leave after 45 days because of the pain and discomfort he was in.

Richard Selway, defending, said the defendant was “deeply traumatised” by what happened but his primary concern since the accident was for the victim.

He was mortified by causing the accident and the motorcyclist’s injuries.

The lawyer outlined the effect of the accident on Hay, a trainee accountant who had been suspended from his job pending the outcome of the case.

He had suffered panic attacks and anxiety and he had not driven since the accident. He has also undergone professional counselling. “He has for the last two years lived with something which he feels is completely out of character,” said Mr Selway.

The lawyer presented character references, including one which referred to Hay as a “careful and safe driver.”

Addressing the cocaine breakdown product, Mr Selway said Hay had come to the area with three or four friends the previous day. “Somebody offered him cocaine several times and he refused several times,” said Mr Selway.

“Ultimately, he capitulated and had a little bit in the later stage of the evening. Everybody went to bed at 1am. The next day, they all got up and lounged around and by 4pm everybody was hungry.”

Deciding they buy a Chinese takeaway, Hay elected to go out for it.

Mr Selway continued: “He felt he was okay to drive, and his driving was not impaired in any way. He went to the victim’s assistance within seconds.”

After the accident, said lawyer, Hay was so concerned he had an eye test. “He could not understand how he did not see this chap on his motorbike,” added Mr Selby.

District Judge John Temperley noted the “considerable amount” of BZE in the defendant’s system and the “unsafe manoeuvre” that caused the accident. He said there was no reason to not accept the contents of the victim impact statement.

“He talks very movingly in terms of what he can and can’t do in terms of his daughter,” said the judge.

But District Judge Temperley accepted that Hay’s remorse was genuine and that he had no previous offences on his record.

“I have also noted the impact on you, which has been significant,” the judge told Hay.

He imposed a 12-month community order, which includes 10 rehabilitation activity days and 200 hours of unpaid work. Hay, of Glen Road, Deans, Livingston, West Lothian was banned from driving for two years.

He must pay £85 costs and a £114 victim surcharge.