Campaign success - McCourt sentence will be appealed
49 year old McCourt’s careless driving was responsible for Audrey’s death in the city in August 2011 – the second cyclist he has killed by poor driving. The first, George Dalgity, was killed in 1985. On 3rd May he was given a 5 year driving ban and 300 hours of community service, sparking a huge response to an appeal campaign set up by CTC and the Fyfe family.=Over 6,000 CTC members, other cycling organisations’ supporters and the public wrote to the Lord Advocate in support of the appeal over the last few weeks. CTC Road Safety Campaigner Rhia Weston said “The Crown Office only take up 12 appeals at most per year and not all of them are successful, so the fact that this case will be appealed is a huge success. This case clearly demonstrates the need to maintain pressure on the legal system to take bad driving seriously in order to stop bad drivers endangering the lives of vulnerable road users.” The Fyfe family and Dalgity family are delighted that the Crown Counsel made the right decision and are overwhelmed by the level of support shown by the public.
We are delighted this will be now reviewed and thank you to all of the people that emailed the Lord Advocate to support us.
Audrey’s daughter Linda Hamilton
George Dalgity’s sister Ann has referred to the news as “Fantastic.”
The appeal has now been sent to the High Court of the Justiciary who will receive a report from Sheriff James Scott explaining why he thought 300 hours of community service and a 5-year driving ban was an appropriate sentence for a double-killer driver. The High Court will then make their decision whether the sentence should be changed or not. CTC and the Fyfe family hope McCourt is given a life-time driving ban. The decision is expected in the autumn. Donald Urquhart, Secretary of CTC Scotland, added “The decision of the Crown to appeal the sentence is welcomed by CTC/CTC Scotland and is, we believe, a reflection of the significant levels of concern expressed by cyclists of the leniency of the original sentence. It is essential that the Courts provide an appropriate degree of protection to all vulnerable road users and that that is reflected in the sentences handed down when careless and dangerous driving has been proved.” Today’s result coincides with the final preparation for the launch of CTC’s Road Justice Campaign, supported by Slater & Gordon Lawyers. The campaign aims to make roads in the UK safer for all road users by strengthening the justice system’s handling of bad driving and bad drivers: from pressing for better quality road collision investigations; to pushing for stronger charging and prosecution of bad drivers; to encouraging the courts to make greater use of tougher sentences, with an emphasis on long-term driving bans. Go to www.roadjustice.org.uk for more information about the campaign and to sign up to the Road Justice newsletter.
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