A CHURCH of Scotland minister who opposed a gay man’s appointment as a minister has been fined £500 and had his licence endorsed after he caused a car crash that left a pensioner with serious injuries.

The Reverend Peter Park, who opposed the controversial appointment of the Reverend Scott Rennie to a church in Aberdeen in 2009, crossed the centre line of the A82 near Crianlarich, west Perthshire.

His Skoda Yeti 4x4 then collided head-on with a Honda Civic during the incident in August last year.

Stirling Sheriff Court was told that the Honda, driven by 78-year-old Agnes Ducker was “rotated across the carriageway” by the force of the collision, while Park’s car left the road and struck a tree.

The court heard it could not be ruled out Park had fallen asleep at the wheel.

Mrs Ducker, who was trapped in the driver’s seat, was freed by firefighters and flown by air ambulance to hospital in Glasgow. Her immediate life-threatening injuries included a double fracture of the pelvis and extensive bruising. She was in hospital for several weeks before making a full recovery.

Park’s wife Mari was also trapped, and after being removed was taken to the Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, Stirlingshire, with fractures to the bones at the base of her back.

Park escaped serious injury. He told police: “My only recollection is of a collision between a white something and me.”

Lindsey Brooks, prosecuting, said the crash was caused by “a lack of care in driving”.

She added: “There’s no other explanation given to me. For some unknown reason the accused’s vehicle crossed the centre line.”

Park, 67, of Oban, pleaded guilty to causing the collision by careless driving.

He had originally been accused of dangerous driving.

George Pollock, mitigating, said there was no suggestion on the evidence he had seen that excessive speed had been a factor, and added Park’s wife had been asleep when the crash occurred.

The solicitor-advocate added: “He was driving north towards Oban and he seems to have misjudged the taking of a left-hand bend.”

He said the minister was returning home to Oban from Glasgow and at the time had been driving for about an hour.

Sheriff William Gilchrist asked: “It wasn’t caused by falling asleep?”

Mr Pollock replied: “That’s a possibility, but I don’t want to advance something that the accused is unclear about.”

He said Park was retired as a minister, but still took services on an ad-hoc basis, and was involved with the Boys’ Brigade. Sheriff Gilchrist said that in the light of the fact Park had no previous convictions and a clean licence he would not disqualify him.

He fined Park £500 and ordered six points to be endorsed on his licence.

He said: “Clearly, this accident had serious consequences for the driver of the other car, and also for your wife.”

Park retired as minister of Fraserburgh Old Parish Church in 2014.

In a debate on the issue of Mr Rennie’s appointment at the 2009 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, he said there was “a danger that we will make a decision [about homosexuality in the ministry] based on the prevailing culture of our time”.