Drunk driver who hit student and drove into cafe avoids jail
A DRUNK pub manager who smashed his car into a cafÃ© front after ploughing into a teenager has escaped a jail sentence.
Julian Fogerty crashed into pedestrian Adam Ridley before careering into the front of the capital’s Empire Café with the student still sprawled on the vehicle’s bonnet.
Fogerty then reversed out of the destroyed coffee shop in Marchmont, Edinburgh, before driving off and leaving his 19-year-old victim covered in blood and suffering from serious head injuries.
Bar manager Fogerty – who had been on his way to meet his partner following an argument - was then picked up by police officers hours later after his wrecked Mazda 6 had been reported abandoned in a nearby street.
Fogerty, who has since moved from Edinburgh to Pollock, Glasgow, caused around £17,000 of damage to the Olympic Café and the Toast café next door during his drunken rampage.
While Mr Ridley suffered 22 lacerations to his head and body including an eight centimetre cut to his forehead following the incident around 3.40am on July 7 last year.
But Fogerty, who had previously pleaded guilty to four charges, escaped a jail term after a sheriff told him he had come “very, very close to custody”.
Instead, the 34-year-old was placed on a three-year supervision order and told to complete 270 hours of unpaid work in the community. He was also banned from driving for 27 months and fined £720.
Fiscal depute Aiden Higgins had previously told the court Fogerty had been drinking in pubs in the capital’s city centre but had decided to jump into his car in the early hours and drive to meet his partner after the pair had argued earlier that evening.
Mr Higgins said: “Having driven a short distance the accused lost control of his vehicle at the junction of Marchmont Road and Strathearn Road and travelled onto the pavement.
“At that time Adam Ridley, a 19-year-old student, was walking home and had reached the junction at the same time as the car veered off on to the pavement.
“Mr Ridley saw the headlights of the car coming towards him but had no time to avoid being struck by the accused’s car.
“The car continued to travel on the pavement with Mr Ridley on the bonnet of the car and crashed through the front of the Empire Café.”
Mr Higgins added Fogerty then reversed out of the demolished eaterie before leaving the “seriously injured” student lying in a heap and driving his heavily damaged vehicle away from the scene.
Mr Ridley was subsequently forced to spend time in a high dependency unit at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary as medics treated his head injuries.
Solicitor Nigel Beaumont had previously told the court his client, who is deputy manager at a Glasgow city centre gastro pub, had not realised he had struck a pedestrian during the incident and had “panicked completely” resulting in him leaving the scene.
Mr Beaumont added Fogerty had then failed to give police officers a breath sample on two occasions due to him “panicking and being very upset”.
Today Sheriff Fiona Reith said: “This incident had appalling consequences for Mr Ridley and this was a close decision – you are very, very close to custody.”
Fogerty admitted to dangerous driving while over the drink drive limit, failing to stop after Mr Ridley had been seriously injured, failing to give the driver’s details and failing to provide two samples of breath, at various locations in Edinburgh and all on July 7 last year.