A SENIOR prosecutor who was sacked after being convicted of dangerous driving has won her case for unfair dismissal.

Emma Knox was on her way to work as the Procurator Fiscal at Inverness when she tried to overtake a lorry and collided with a van coming the other way in December 2012.

Both she and the van driver, Scott Henderson, had to be cut free from the wreckage. Mrs Knox, of Kirkhill, Inverness, suffered serious head injuries and multiple fractures in the collision, while Mr Henderson fractured his neck.

The lawyer pleaded guilty to causing injury by dangerous driving at Dingwall Sheriff Court in September 2013 and was dismissed the following month by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).

However, an employment tribunal has now found her dismissal was unfair.

In a written judgment, employment judge Reginald Christie said: "To consider that committing an error of judgment in causing a road traffic accident, albeit with consequences of serious injury and a conviction, was sufficient to deprive a procurator-fiscal of her unblemished career cannot possibly have been within the band of reasonable responses."

The tribunal heard that Mrs Knox was driving along the A862 Ardullie to Inverness road at 7.30am when the collision occurred.

She was driving at between 35 to 40mph on the 60mph road and was 30ft away from an oncoming Ford Transit van when she decided to overtake the HGV on a right hand bend.

The mother-of-two, who earned £3200 a month as a procurator-fiscal, was unconscious for three weeks after the accident and remained in hospital for almost four months.

She still suffers from vision problems and walks with a stick.

Mr Henderson made a full recovery six months after the accident.

Mrs Knox, who had worked for COPFS for 19 years, pleaded guilty just days after being charged and was disqualified for two years and given a £500 fine.

During the court hearing, the sheriff described the offence a being "towards the lower end of the dangerous driving scale".

The employment judgment stated: "In other words, it was to be regarded more as a matter of error in judgment than of utter recklessness."

During Mrs Knox's disciplinary hearing, she told John Logue, the director of serious casework at COPFS, that the collision was the result of a "momentary miscalculation of speed and distance".

She added that she had not exceeded the speed limit and "there was no drink or drugs involved, this is not an offence of violence or dishonesty".

However, Mr Logue found that "the relationship of trust and confidence between Ms Knox and COPFS had been irretrievably damaged".

He also decided there was a considerable risk of reputational damage to the Crown Office if she was allowed to continue to work there.

Judge Christie ruled that the circumstances of the case provided a "unique context" due to the nature of work carried out by the service, However, he added it was unlikely to attract "any degree of outrage" if she remained a procurator-fiscal.

He added: "Even in the uniqueness of this case, an employer would not fail to distinguish between the criminal convictions which involved conduct which was morally unacceptable and those which did not.

"Making a mistake of the kind involved in this case is something which any driver on his way to work might do."

Mrs Knox, who also unsuccessfully appealed against her dismissal, wants to be reinstated by COPFS.

A hearing on whether or not that should happen and what compensation she is entitled to will take place at a later date.

A Crown Office spokesman said: "We are carefully considering the judgement and will reflect on the decision in advance of any next steps."