A SHERIFF told a man she has no sympathy for his drug plight after sentencing him for crashing his car while under the influence.

Alexander Neil appeared at Alloa Sheriff Court on Thursday, September 6, after previously pleading guilty to two charges at a trial diet in August.

Susannah Hutchison told the court that on October 24 of last year the accused was driving along the A876 around 12.30pm when a witness observed the car behind him accelerating at speed before slowing down repeatedly.

Ms Hutchison continued: “The witness saw the car veering across the carriageway before it appeared right behind him. It then accelerated into the back of his vehicle.”

The collision caused Neil’s car to go off the road while the complainer’s car was sent over to the other side of the roundabout as a result.

Members of the public then went to the car to check on the Tullibody man and when police officers arrived they observed the 44-year-old slurring his words. A breath test was carried out which came back with a negative result.

A blood test was carried out at Forth Valley Royal Hospital which showed the accused had Phenazepam in his system.

Phenazepam is a powerful drug which acts as a tranquiliser and was originally produced in Russia to treat epilepsy and alcohol withdrawal. It is thought to be more than five times stronger than Valium.

Toni Pentecost, defending Neil, told the court that her client thought he had taken Valium which had not been prescribed to him. She added that the drug had been consumed two days prior to the incident and was still in his system.

Neil, who was stopped by the police in the days before the incident, had lost his employment on the morning of the collision and is already disqualified from driving.

Sheriff Linda Smith told Ms Pentecost not to bother talking about the mix-up of drugs.

She said: “I might have sympathy for the mix-up if he did not have a terrible record of drug offences. He is old enough to realise that if you take illegal drugs then you accept the consequences.”

Neil, of Dovecot Road, was sentenced to 240 hours of unpaid work and was disqualified from driving for a period of three years.