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Crown office wants firmer conviction for cyclist killer

Posted in: Bicycle Accidents Road Traffic Accidents 

Gary McCourt’s driving has caused the deaths of two cyclists, twenty years apart, which the Crown Office feels should be punished with a less ‘lenient’ sentence. Following a previous conviction for causing death through reckless driving, the Crown Office argues that he should be banned from driving for life and should receive a prison sentence.

Gary McCourt was banned from driving for five years and was punished with 300 hours of community service after he was found guilty of killing 75-year-old Audrey Fyfe in Edinburgh (August 2011). However, after prosecutors described the sentence as being “too lenient”, Appeal Court judges have decided to review the sentence.

The trail, which took place in April, heard that Mr. McCourt only “clipped” the back wheel of Audrey Fyfe’s bicycle at the junction between Portobello Road and Graigentinny Avenue. However, the cyclist died two days after the collision.

Trail sheriff should have taken previous crime into account

In 1985, Mr. McCourt had caused another death due to his reckless driving, as he took the life of 22-year-old George Dalgity. He had been cycling along Regent Road at the time of the road traffic accident.

Due to Mr. McCourt’s previous crime, the Appeal Court solicitor general argued that the trail sheriff should have taken this into account, and should have imposed a custodial sentence and lifetime ban on Mr. McCourt. Lesley Thomson QC said:

The sheriff erred in his assessment of the culpability of the respondent in that he attached insufficient weight to both the quality of the respondent’s driving which resulted in the fatal collision and to the respondent’s previous conviction for causing death by reckless driving.”

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