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Driver found guilty of running down bikers

By Court Reporter

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THE driver of a high performance Porsche has been convicted by a jury of causing serious injury to two German motorcyclists on the North Coast 500 two years ago.

Company director Craig Coote, from Liveredge in West Yorkshire, was on holiday with friends, who were travelling in separate cars, when he caused the crash on a bend between Ledmore and Lochinver on August 30, 2017.

Motor cyclists Luiz Cabrera and her partner Annabelle Zekl, both 24, had to be airlifted to hospital in Stornoway. Miss Cabrera was later transferred to hospital in Glasgow to undergo surgery for an 18cm wound on her leg and has been left with a scar.

The young women described how they come round the bend to be confronted by Coote's car as he overtook a Mazda driven by 28 year-old Antyom Semenov.

Miss Cabrera was in the lead and was in contact with Miss Zekl by microphone fitted to their crash helmets. Her partner heard her scream just before impact.

The trial heard that Coote tried to take evasive action and braked in a bid to create space for the motor cyclists. But both collided with his nearside wing and landed on the road.

Passing nurses helped treat the injured women before they were airlifted from the scene about four hours after the 4pm accident.

Mr Semonov described how the first car came up behind him quite aggressively and overtook, followed by the second car. Then came the Porsche.

He recalled saying: 'Don't you dare', because he feared the Porsche was going to overtake with the bend approaching.

A&E nurse Jerry Hall came across the scene of the accident and helped out. She was with her husband on a tour of Scotland in a camper van when they were passed by two cars then the Porsche at high speed.

Her husband commented that the driver was going to cause a crash and five minutes later they came across the accident.

Coote in his evidence claimed there was clear visibility into the bend when he began to overtake. But he claimed Mr Semenov accelerated when he moved out to overtake, then slowed down and blocked him coming back in by slowing down.

"He was looking at me through his window," said Coote.

Jurors took an hour to convict Coote, a company director, of the offence. She deferred sentence for background reports until August 21.

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