Motorcyclist acquitted of causing death of fiancée in crash

A MOTORCYCLIST was today (November 24) acquitted of causing the death of his fiancée who was riding as a pillion passenger on his sports bike when he crashed.

Former Royal Navy serviceman Bret Simpson, 30, had collected Bronte Hutchison, 23, in Galashiels in the early hours of the morning after she was on a night out.

But Simpson’s Kawasaki motorbike crashed at the Tweedbank roundabout and Miss Hutchison died at the scene after sustaining a fatal head injury.

Simpson, of Bongate Gardens, Jedburgh, denied causing her death by dangerous driving and a jury at the High Court in Edinburgh found the charge not proven on a majority verdict.

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The trial judge, Lord Boyd of Duncansby, told jurors: “I think it is true to say this has been a difficult trial for many of the people involved.”

The judge said they had to listen to evidence that was sometimes distressing, difficult and emotional. He added: “A young life has been lost in very tragic circumstances.”

The Crown alleged that Simpson drove at excessive speeds on the A6091 Galashiels to Melrose bypass on August 5 in 2018 before the fatal accident.

It was alleged that he failed to slow down on the approach to the roundabout, braked sharply, causing the rear wheel to lock and he lost control of the motorcycle.

His pillion passenger, who was said to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs, was propelled from the bike and struck her head against a kerb.

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Simpson told defence counsel Edith Forrest that when he felt the motorbike “going over” there was nothing he could do. He came off the bike and realised Miss Hutchison was not responding and he started carrying out CPR on her. He said he waved down a car and called on the driver to get an ambulance.

He told the court: “I knew she was dead and that my world was gone.”

Simpson was asked how good his memory was of the night and replied: “It replays in my head most nights.”

He said he was an experienced motorcyclist and denied that he was driving erratically or like “a bat out of hell” during the trip to collect Miss Hutchison.

Border Telegraph | News