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Bin lorry driver Harry Clarke FINALLY shamed in court… as he cops plea to driving ‘culpably and recklessly’ without …

THE driver of the bin lorry that crashed in Glasgow killing six people has pled guilty to driving “culpably and recklessly” after losing his licence. Harry Clarke, 60, was spotted behind the wheel of his Corsa on Buchanan Street in Baillieston, despite being slapped with a driving ban.

Harry Clarke arrives at Glasgow Sheriff Court todayHarry Clarke arrives at Glasgow Sheriff Court todayThe disaster took place just before Christmas in 2014The disaster took place just before Christmas in 2014

Clarke made his first public appearance in the dock at Glasgow Sheriff Court where he pled guilty to an alternative charge of culpably and recklessly driving his car. The charge noted he drove in full knowledge he had previously lost consciousness behind the wheel on multiple occasions – including during the crash that killed six.

It also noted that after having his licence revoked in June 2015 “you did know, or ought to have known, that you were unfit to drive and that there was a risk of you suffering a loss of consciousness or an episode of altered awareness whilst driving”. The court heard that Clarke moved his car last year “to kind of keep the wheels turning”, but was spotted by concerned neighbours who shopped him to police. Clarke copped his plea just over two years after he was involved in the road horror that saw victims mowed down near George Square.

The shamed Baillieston council worker blacked out while driving the bin lorry that caused a trail of destruction in December 22, 2014. Erin McQuade, 18, her grandparents Jack Sweeney, 68, and Lorraine Sweeney, 69, all from Dumbarton, died in the crash. Stephenie Tait, 29, and Jacqueline Morton, 51, both from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh, were also killed when the truck mounted the pavement before crashing into the side of the Millennium Hotel.

A further 15 people were injured.

binvictims11Crash victims from top left, Lorraine Sweeney, 69, Erin McQuade, 18, Jack Sweeney, 68, Jaqueline Morton, 51, Stephenie Tait, 29, Gillian Ewing, 52

Clarke had previously fainted while working as a bus driver but failed to disclose it when he joined the council. A fatal accident inquiry into the deaths heard that Mr Clarke has made more than 300 visits to doctors and GPs since 1976 with a number of issues being raised including dizziness, persistent headaches, anxiety, vertigo and depression. The inquiry also heard DVLA officials withdrew his car licence for 12 months and banned him from driving HGVs for 10 years on 25 June 2015.

He was arrested for driving a car less than three months later. In November 2016, families of victims hit out after the black-out driver claimed he “wasn’t bothered” about returning to the crash site[1].

Glasgow bin lorry driver Harry Clarke at crash site ahead of second anniversary

A month later it emerged Clarke would not face private prosecution[2] with the Crown Office insisting there was insufficient evidence to raise criminal proceedings. In a rare legal move, the case was brought by relatives[3] of victims Erin McQuade and her grandparents, but failed to be approved by Lady Dorrian, Lord Menzies and Lord Drummond Young.

Clarke will be sentenced over today’s charges next month.

No private prosecution for Glasgow bin lorry crash driver Harry Clarke


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References

  1. ^ returning to the crash site (www.thescottishsun.co.uk)
  2. ^ would not face private prosecution (www.thesun.co.uk)
  3. ^ brought by relatives (www.thescottishsun.co.uk)
  4. ^ [email protected] (www.thescottishsun.co.uk)

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