Sample cases and Testimonials
Sample case 1.
This case dealt with a pedestrian fatality, whereby a car driver, travelling on a rural single carriageway and rounding a bend, had lost control and skidded across the road into the pedestrian. The core of the case focused on perception and conspicuity issues at the crucial moment the pedestrian could first be seen by the driver, as he rounded the bend. To support our case, we had carried out a detailed reconstruction of the collision under similar circumstances.
John Scott QC Solicitor Advocate, Partner at Capital Defence Lawyers:
“I was instructed as QC in a difficult and sensitive case involving an allegation of contravening section 2B of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (causing death by careless driving). Mark was engaged by the instructing solicitors to provide expert opinion on the case, including his views on the Police Collision Investigation Report. He was able to identify certain deficiencies in that report, as well as providing us with useful insight on a locus inspection. He sat in on the Crown evidence and gave evidence on behalf of the accused. That the accused was acquitted was due in no small part to Mark's contribution to the case. He certainly helped me to get to grips with the unusual factual background to the accident”.
Sample case 2.
This enquiry concerned an articulated lorry which became stuck on a level train crossing in very wintery conditions. The lorry driver was unable to move forward or backwards and the lorry was eventually struck by an oncoming freight train, causing extensive damage to the lorry, the train and the crossing. Luckily, the lorry driver was able to step away from the lorry and the train driver only sustained minor injuries.
Alan Sinclair, Senior Associate at MacRoberts LLP, Glasgow:
“Mark provided me with a report in relation to liability for a road traffic accident. The report was clear, comprehensive and well-reasoned. I would certainly instruct Mark in future and wouldn't hesitate to recommend that others do so”.
Sample case 3.
This investigation dealt with a fatal collision on a remote rural single carriageway in the pitch dark. A driver had attempted to perform a U-turn but stalled the engine, after which an oncoming vehicle collided with the stationary car. The Police had carried out a reconstruction which we challenged, mainly because they ignored issues like expectation and perception delay. I was able to show that, had the oncoming driver even blinked an eye, which would have taken only about 4/10th of a second, the driver would have been too late to avoid the collision.
Ann Bonomy, Associate at Simpson & Marwick, Glasgow:
“I have used Aldbar Ltd in a number of complex road traffic prosecutions and civil claims since 2009. I have found Mark to be an excellent witness giving clear, concise and well informed answers. His manner and style engage both Sheriffs and Juries alike. A good example is a recent fatal road traffic prosecution case at Inverness Sheriff and Jury Court. The case was complicated due to darkness and restricted sightlines. The accused was acquitted by the Jury following Marks evidence. I have also found Marks reports to be useful in persuading the crown to “think again” and in negotiating reduced pleas".
Sample Case 4.
I have investigated a number of cases for Mr O’Curry throughout the years, from serious injury collisions and speeding offences to careless and dangerous driving offences (Police pursuits, trial of speed, failing to stop and report etc). One case involved a head-on collision whereby it was alleged that one of the vehicles had mounted the kerb. I was able to show that, due to the positioning of lampposts, this would be physically impossible.
Luke O’Curry, proprietor at O’Curry Criminal Defence:
“Mark is an excellent addition to the preparation of any road traffic defence. He approaches complex matters with a direct and cohesive attitude which serves to evolve complicated and diverse theories and evidence into simple language and practice”.
Sample case 5.
This case concerned a fatal multi-vehicle collision whereby the initial emerging manoeuvre of a car driver onto a busy dual carriageway led to another driver having to take avoiding action and skidding through the central reservation. It eventually led to a head-on collision on the opposing carriageway, causing fatal injuries to the oncoming driver. The case contained a difficult to visualise sequence of events involving 5 vehicles, which I illustrated with the aid of diagrams and drawings.
John Macdonald – Partner RSB Macdonald, Dundee:
“I have employed the services of Mark Hooghiemstra in his capacity as a Road Traffic Expert. In particular I engaged him in two cases which involved fatalities. I found Mr Hooghiemstra to be very detailed in his enquiries and reports. He also attended Court in connection with both cases and gave evidence confidently and precisely”.
Sample case 6.
This enquiry dealt with a Section 2 speeding case, whereby the claims of the Police Officers regarding their travelling time and distance was challenged with mathematical principles. My analysis was based on detailed measurements at the locus combined with the acceleration potential of both vehicles involved.
David Sutherland, Criminal Defence Specialist:
“Thank you for your work which you carried out on my client's behalf. I passed your details to a colleague based in Glasgow and took the liberty of commending your work to her”.
Sample case 7.
I have investigated many cases for Mr Markowski (speeding, Police pursuits, CCTV analysis etc), one of which was an injury head-on collision in the dark on a rural single carriageway. A freedom of information request, carried out by us, revealed that the road surface, on that particular stretch of road, had been a contributory factor in several identical collisions in the past and could therefore also have contributed to the accused losing control of his vehicle.
Nick Markowski, Criminal Defence Lawyer, T Duncan & Company, Montrose:
“In the past nine years I have instructed Mark Hooghiemstra of Aldbar Limited on numerous occasions to prepare reports in road traffic related cases and, without fail, have always been impressed by his professionalism and level of expertise. His reports have been instrumental in defending my clients in Court”.
Sample case 8.
This was a Section 2 speeding case, whereby the accused had allegedly travelled at 120 mph. The Court case involved some technicalities regarding an uncalibrated speedometer in the Police car and a VASCAR speed check which was carried out in pitch dark, without any clearly identifiable reference points.
Naomi Pryde, Senior Solicitor at Tods Murray LLP, Edinburgh:
“I recently instructed Mark to appear as an expert in a dangerous driving case for me. Mark is very competent and has a deep and detailed knowledge of his specialised subject. His report was very thorough and I was very pleased with it. He is very personable, yet at all times a professional. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Mark, and I would certainly use him again”.
Sample case 8.
I have regularly been instructed by Mr Robertson for a wide variety of cases (speeding, collisions etc). One of the cases involved a collision of a large 4x4 vehicle with a toddler’s pram, thankfully at very low speed. The case centred around sightlines, in particular A-pillar blind spots and the restricted visibility towards the very front of large vehicles.
Euan Robertson – Partner at Euan Robertson Solicitors, Glasgow:
“Mark is a very competent road traffic expert. He has provided me with excellent reports. On one careless driving trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court, the Crown expert confirmed he could not dispute any of Mark's report”.