A Scottish woman who blamed a driving rampage that included plowing into a man and then speeding off with him attached to her car on pregnancy hormones has been sentenced to jail.
Lawyers for Suzanne Gilchrist, from Edinburgh, Scotland, argued that Gilchrist, a mother of one, thought she was pregnant and was "suffering hormonal imbalance" last June when she plowed her Ford Focus into 22-year-old Stuart Morris and drove 350 yards with him clinging to her car for his life, according to local media reports.
"She had thought she was pregnant and was obviously suffering some sort of hormonal imbalance, and was on such a knife-edge that she panicked," the UK's Daily Record quotes a lawyer for Gilchrist as saying. "She was hysterical. She thought Mr Morris had walked in front of her, trying to make her stop."
Instead, a Scottish court found that the 37-year-old Gilchrist was purposely driving eratically trying to escape a security guard from a nearby store who was chasing her for shoplifting and sentenced Gilchrist to four years and three months in jail.
"You deliberately drove at the victim," Stirling Sheriff Wyllie Robertson told Gilchrist in court. "Your car was screeching around corners while this man feared for his life. The danger to his life was real and obvious."
Prosecutor Emma White told the court that the security guard had tried to open the driver's side door of Gilchrist's car to take away her keys after he believed her to have stolen an item from the store, but Gilchrist instead sped off.
Surveillance video captured what happened next as Gilchrist drove off and right into Morris, an innocent bystander who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Morris jumped on the hood of Gilchrist's car to avoid injury but Gilchrist kept driving. She was eventually forced to stop at a traffic light where the security guard caught up with her and turned off the ignition, according to the UK's Express.
Morris was taken to the hospital on a spinal board but was later discharged and is recovered. Gilchrist was arrested and pled guilty to assaulting Morris, failing to stop at intersections, and trying to throw Morris from her car to the danger of his life. She pled not-guilty to stealing a bottle of aftershave from the store, the Daily Record reports.
Morris, who told police he thought he was a "goner" after the incident, said of the court's decision that the punishment was fair and that Gilchrist's defense did not stand.
"When my girlfriend gets hormonal, she just shouts a bit. She doesn't try to kill anyone, he told the Record.