Market Cross crash a ‘monumental error’

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A Lerwick man made a “monumental error” when he drove off in the early morning without waiting for his misted windows to clear.

Fifty-eight year-old Andrew Mcguinness crashed into the Market Cross in what proved to be a “significant impact”.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard yesterday that Mcguinness failed to wait until his de-mister had done its job before he set off from his Breiwick Road home on 29th September.

He headed to the street to send some mail, but collided with the local landmark after pulling away from the post office.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Mcguinness immediately reported the accident to police. He was breathalysed, but the test returned a “zero reading”.

“It was simply the case that he could not see where he was going,” he said.

He said Mcguinness had got a fright from the crash. But his work colleagues had seen the lighter side of the incident, and chided him by joking that he had “made a monumental error”.

Mcguinness, he said, needed his licence for his job and believed he would lose his employment if he was disqualified from driving.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Mcguinness’s driving had resulted in a lot of repair work being done at the cross.

“It was a significant impact with the monument at the Market Cross, causing it to move, and there was a significant amount of work undertaken to rectify the damage,” Mr MacKenzie told the court.

Sheriff Philip Mann fined Mcguinness £300 and ordered four points be placed on his licence.

“I know that people are very tempted to drive when their vehicles have not been properly de-misted. It’s a great temptation that’s difficult to resist, but this demonstrates why it needs to be resisted. Instead of a monument it could have been a pedestrian, or something else.”