Drink drive killer appeals against sentence

A DRINK-driver who is currently serving nine years in jail for killing a Montrose couple in a head-on collision is appealing his sentence.

Alistair Ferrier (30) married his pregnant fiance Joanne Dye in a ceremony at Perth Prison two weeks ago, less than six months after he received his nine-year sentence at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Ferrier, who is registered disabled, received his sentence for getting behind the wheel of his Motability provided car on the evening of December 14, 2008, shortly after he was refused more drink by staff at the Anchor Bar in Montrose.

According to witness reports Ferrier sped out of town at about 60 to 70mph before colliding with the Vauxhall Meriva which was travelling in the opposite direction near Lunan Home Farm.

John Gibson (69) who was driving the Meriva, and his wife, Isobella (68), both from Montrose were pronounced dead at the scene. Their friend who was travelling with them sustained severe injuries to her legs.

Ferrier was cut from the wreckage of his car and had multiple injuries, but he discharged himself from hospital six weeks after the crash.

Alongside the prison sentence, Ferrier, of St Thomas Crescent, Arbroath, was given a 15-year driving ban - his fifth disqualification.

Ferrier’s blood alcohol reading at the time of the crash had been 222mgs when the limit is 80mgs.

Temporary Judge Edward Bowen QC told Ferrier: “The case involves the tragic and senseless deaths of two innocent individuals and the serious and permanent injury to a third, brought entirely because of your total disregard for the safety of others.

“You have a background of disobeying the road traffic laws, having been disqualified from driving on new fewer than four occasions.

“This was in short, a piece of drunken, uncontrolled driving.”

Now, six months after sentencing, Ferrier is appealing and a date for the hearing is to be set in due course.

Mr and Mrs Gibson’s daughter, Shiona Cruikshanks, has now started a petition against this appeal.

She said: “I have had a great response from the public since the news broke of Ferrier’s appeal.

“I am very grateful to everyone who has taken the time to contact me.

“The reaction from the public has all been very positive with a lot of comments hoping the appeal goes against him and he gets a longer sentence - but I know that is never going to happen.

“What I want from this appeal is for the courts and judges to see just how unhappy the general public are about the inadequate sentences they are handing out to these criminals.

“Although the family accepted the sentence handed out by Lord Bowen was about all we could expect, it didn’t stop us feeling it wasn’t justice for mum and dad.

“For these criminals then to be allowed to go on and make appeals against their sentence just beggars belief.

“The con has so many rights, as I keep getting told, yet there are no rights for the victims as we have found out.

“The establishment tell you nothing. The appeal has to be lodged within seven days of sentence but it has taken 19 weeks to inform us that an appeal has been lodged.

“That has got to be wrong and hopefully this petition will highlight the public’s need for change in our justice system.

“I have quite a few people getting in touch saying they should bring back corporal punishment for scumbags like Ferrier that have complete disregard for the laws of this country.

“There has also been a few outraged about the cost of taxpayers’ money that are funding his legal fees.”