Farmer fined after illegal ramp injures cyclist

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A cyclist was left with terrible injuries after a dairy boss made an illegal “camouflaged” ramp in the middle of a road.

Scott Crowe was cycling on a rural route in Angus when he smashed into an irrigation pipe that had been laid across the road and covered with stones and chippings.

He was catapulted off his bike and suffered injuries including a punctured lung and shattered left clavicle.

Martin Kearney, who runs dairy producer Lundie Farm, had laid the pipe to help irrigate two fields.

It had previously been put down with a bright blue ramp over it - but he had received complaints about the steep rise and fall of it causing damage to cars.

In response, Kearney put down road chippings on the ramp to cover it up and make it easier for drivers to negotiate.

But that had the impact of camouflaging it from Mr Crowe, who did not see the obstruction until too late and hit it at speed as he cycled downhill.

Fiscal depute Isma Mukhtar told Forfar Sheriff Court: “He required surgery and intensive rehabilitation as a result.

“He was thrown from his bicycle and landed heavily on his left shoulder.

“He got to his feet eventually and called his wife who summoned an ambulance.

“The complainer’s father attended later that day and discovered the pipe had been removed.

“During the police’s investigation they contacted the council roads supervisor who said no intimation had been made about this work being carried out on the road, and said that if he had come across the obstruction he would have had the road immediately closed for it to be removed.”

Kearney, 32, of Lundie Farm, Angus, pleaded guilty on summary complaint to a charge under the Roads (Scotland) Act.

Defence solicitor David Cairns said: “He had instructed a contractor to lay this pipe on two previous occasions but had had complaints about the gradient of the ramp put over it causing damage to cars those times.

“On this occasion he took it upon himself to place hard road planings over the ramp.

“He did that to decrease the gradient on the ramp and received no further complaints from motorists, but it appears to have disguised the ramp from the cyclist.

“There was certainly no malicious intent.”

Sheriff Pino di Emidio fined Kearney £950.

He said: “This is an offence that perhaps doesn’t often come before the court.

“This incident caused significant injury to the cyclist.”