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Last Updated: Monday, 8 November, 2004, 17:25 GMT
Seaman jailed after road accident
High Court Glasgow
Brian Higgins was jailed for two years at the High Court in Glasgow
A Royal Navy seaman has been jailed for two years for killing a young woman in an horrific road accident.

The High Court in Glasgow heard Brian Higgins, 36, overtook a bus on a blind bend near Ballantrae in South Ayrshire, and ploughed into an oncoming car.

Louise Knox, 21, was killed in the accident on the A77.

Higgins, who had served in Northern Ireland and Iraq, was convicted of dangerous driving and jailed for two years and dismissed from the military.

'Cruel twist'

In what the judge called a "cruel twist," one of the firemen called to the accident scene was the dead girl's father.

Temporary Judge Ian Simpson said Higgins had been guilty of a single, momentary, dangerous error of judgement to which tiredness and impatience might have contributed.

He said the sentence would have been longer, had it not been for the fact that Higgins had used his first-aid skills to help two survivors in the car with which he had collided.

He added: "I have taken account of everything that has been represented on your behalf, including the likely loss of your pension rights, but I am satisfied that a case of this gravity requires a custodial sentence.

"In my opinion the necessary and appropriate sentence is two years imprisonment from today.

"In addition, you will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence for 30 months and until you have passed the extended test of competency".

Higgins, who broke down in tears, offered his apologies to the Knox family.

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