Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 12:44 UK

Family slam death crash sentence

Philip Tod (Picture: Perthshire Picture Agency)
Philip Tod was a learner driver at the time of the fatal crash

The family of a teenager killed in a crash has criticised the sentence given to the man who caused the collision.

Jason Ness, 17, died after learner driver Philip Tod, 21, lost control of the stolen vehicle while trying to negotiate a bend at high speed.

Tod, from Milnathort, was previously found guilty of causing the crash which killed his friend in August last year.

At Perth Sheriff Court, he was banned from driving for six months, fined 575 and given 150 hours community service.

'Killed my mate'

The court was told that Tod, a laminate fabricator, had stolen his stepfather's car because he was bored in the family home.

He admitted that he had decided to drive "just as fast as he could".

As he tried to take a bend of the B920 at 60mph, the car spun out of control and crashed into a field.

After the accident, Tod called police to say: "I've killed my mate." He then tried to give his friend mouth-to-mouth resuscitation at the roadside.

At the time he had had less than a dozen lessons and did not have a licence or insurance for the car.

Jason Ness
Jason Ness was killed after the car flew into the air and landed in a field

Tod admitted taking the car from his home on the night of the crash.

He also admitted driving on the B920 Scotlandwell to Ballingry road while having no insurance and while not displaying L-plates when he was the holder of a provisional licence.

He denied driving carelessly and causing the crash which killed his friend, but was found guilty of that charge after a trial at the court.

Mr Ness, from Perth, had been working as an apprentice bricklayer and planned to join the Royal Marines before he died in the crash.

Sheriff Linda Smith said the accident had tragic consequences, but told the court she was unable to take that into account in sentencing.

Rena Ness, grandmother of the victim, said: "He [Tod] took a young life because he was bored. The least I would have expected would have been for him to have served time.

"I just think it is a joke. I think it is terrible. It is bloody awful if they think that is the price of a life in this country."

Tribute to teenage crash victim
29 Aug 07 |  Tayside and Central
Teenage passenger dies in crash
26 Aug 07 |  Tayside and Central

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific