A DENTIST has appeared in court charged with causing the death of a college tutor by dangerous driving.

David Coutts

David Coutts

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Dentist in court over road death of Hartlepool teacher

David Coutts, 58, attended Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court yesterday after he was charged by police with the offence last week.

James Gibson, 28, taught at Hartlepool Sixth Form College, died from his injuries after he was hit by a Jaguar car at around 5.30pm on Grange Road, Hartlepool, on Wednesday, December 19.

Coutts, who works at Lambert and Coutts Dental Practice in Grange Road, indicated he would plead not guilty to the charge during yesterday’s brief court appearance.

The alleged offence can only be dealt with at the crown court and magistrates transferred the case there.

Coutts, of Northbrook Court, Hartlepool, will appear at Teesside Crown Court in Middlesborugh on Thursday, June 13.

He was granted unconditional bail in the meantime.

Mr Gibson, from Jarrow, South Tyneside, was rushed to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, after the incident.

But medics were unable to save him and he died shortly after his arrival at the hospital.

His family released a statement shortly after his death saying simply that they were “devastated”.

The geography, travel and tourism teacher was described by colleagues as a fit and active young man who was very popular with students and staff.

The college said in a tribute: “Our thoughts are with his family, to whom we offer our deepest sympathy, and with our staff and students who are heartbroken at the news.”

Staff and students celebrated Mr Gibson’s life in a ceremony and staff will honour his memory by raising money to send 25 students to Ghana next summer.

Mr Gibson was organising the trip for the students to do charitable work in Africa before his sudden death.

An inquest has been opened and adjourned by Hartlepool Coroner Malcolm Donnelly.