Aberdeen headteacher convicted twice of drink driving allowed appeal to have ban reduced

Anna Royle was the headteacher of Greenbrae Primary School in Aberdeen
-Credit: (Image: Daily Record/Sunday Mail)

A headteacher who has two drink driving convictions has won the chance to have a legal ban which prevents her from going on the road reduced.”

Anna Royle, 45, was found guilty of crashing her Audi Q2 into another car before fleeing the collision scene in Aberdeen on October 1, 2023.

The city’s sheriff court heard how police found the headmistress in a nearby lane holding her dog in her arms. Police officers tested her and found her to be the drink driving limit.

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It was her second drink driving conviction - she was first found guilty in 2019.

Sheriff Christian Marney fined her £1,200 and banned her from driving for three years.

The ban prompted Royle’s lawyers to go to the Sheriff Appeal Court in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

Defence advocate John Brannigan argued that Sheriff Marney should have referred Royle to a drink driver’s rehabilitation scheme which is available to people in Royle’s situation in Aberdeen.

The initiative teaches drink drivers of the dangers of getting behind the wheel intoxicated.

People who successfully complete the course are able to have a quarter of their driving ban reduced.

Appeal sheriffs Sheriff Principal Sean Murphy KC and Sheriff Patrick Hughes agreed to make the referral to the rehabilitation scheme.

Sheriff Hughes told the lawyers in the court that Royle’s actions suggested a “course of conduct” and that it was in the “public interest” that she attend the scheme.

At the time of the offence, Royle was the headteacher of Greenbrae Primary School in Aberdeen.

When she appeared in court, her solicitor described her job situation as “fluid”.

A search of the General Teaching Council of Scotland’s online register for teachers on Wednesday (June 26) showed a record for Royle who was described as being an employee of Aberdeen City Council.

During the February 2024 trial, witness Paul Bate, 55, told the court how he was walking home from a supermarket at 9.30pm when he heard “a massive screech” and what sounded like two cars colliding on Broomhill Road.

He arrived to find a woman behind the wheel of a red Audi Q2, which had smashed into a black Volvo and sustained significant damage to its front.

He said Royle appeared “dazed” before she got out of the car with her dog and “walked off”.

PC Marc Davidson told depute fiscal Andrew McMann that, he found Royle and the dog in a lane behind Broomhill Primary School.

The officer described Royle’s attitude towards the police as “hostile” and said she was “disinterested” and initially refused to take part in a roadside breath test – however, she did ultimately give a positive result.

When tested again back at Kittybrewster Police Station, Royle gave a reading of 104 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 22mg.

Upon reaching a verdict, Sheriff Marney told Royle that he found the witnesses’ accounts of that night “reliable and credible”.

He added: “I’m satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused was the driver of the vehicle.”