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Shamed bin lorry driver Harry Clarke to be sentenced for getting behind the wheel after losing his licence

CRASH DRIVER FACING JAIL

Clarke, 60, could face up to five years in jail according to lawyers for admitting to the ‘significant’ charge of driving ‘culpably and recklessly’

SHAMED bin lorry crash driver Harry Clarke is due to be sentenced today for getting behind the wheel of a car after losing his licence.

It was said ex-council driver Clarke, 60, could up to five years in jail for “culpable and reckless” driving just months after the truck horror which killed six shoppers in Glasgow.

Harry Clarke arrives at Glasgow Sheriff Court today

Harry Clarke arrived at Glasgow Sheriff Court last month

The disaster took place just before Christmas in 2014

The disaster took place just before Christmas in 2014

Clarke was spotted at the wheel of his Vauxhall Corsa in Baillieston just months after his licence was revoked on health grounds over the George Square disaster.

Cops cautioned and charged him and he later told insurers he had only moved the vehicle “just to kind of keep the wheels turning a wee bit.”

He appeared before a court last month, pleading guilty to driving “culpably and recklessly”[1] on September 20 2015 in full knowledge he had previously lost consciousness behind the wheel on multiple occasions, and that his licence had been revoked.

Lawyer for the families of crash victims Paul Kavanagh said Clarke’s conviction was “significant”[2] and he could face up to five years in jail.

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Days before Christmas in 2014 Clarke blacked out while driving the 26-ton bin lorry that caused a trail of destruction in Glasgow city centre.

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.

binvictims11

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

Clarke escaped prosecution over the crash, with the Crown Office insisting there was insufficient evidence to raise criminal proceedings.

He 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”[3] about returning to the crash site.

A month later it emerged Clarke would not face private prosecution as a court bid was refused.

The case was brought by relatives of victims Erin McQuade and her grandparents, but failed to be approved by Lady Dorrian, Lord Menzies and Lord Drummond Young.

Glasgow bin lorry crash driver Harry Clarke leaves Glasgow Sheriff Court


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References

  1. ^ “culpably and recklessly” (www.thesun.co.uk)
  2. ^ conviction was “significant” (www.thescottishsun.co.uk)
  3. ^ “wasn’t bothered” (www.thescottishsun.co.uk)
  4. ^ [email protected] (www.thescottishsun.co.uk)