Lorry driver sentence for student death ‘mockery’

Glasgow Sheriff Court. Picture: John Devlin

Glasgow Sheriff Court. Picture: John Devlin

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THE Russian father of a student who died after a lorry careered into the taxi he was travelling in has called the community sentence handed down to the lorry’s driver yesterday as “a mockery of justice”.

Business student Anton Dementyev, 19, was with three friends on their way to celebrate the end of their university exams when Andrew Wilson’s articulated lorry hit them.

Wilson, 55, went through a red light on Argyle Street in Glasgow at the junction after the slip road off the M8 motorway and collided with the Skoda taxi.

Mr Dementyev was taken to hospital with a severe head and neck injury and died the following day. Taxi driver William Tombe and students Juan Doval, from Madrid, Camillo Herrara from Columbia and Daulet Abalov, from Kazakhstan, were also injured.

Wilson, from Ripon, North Yorkshire, pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to causing Mr Dementyev’s death by careless driving, on 8 May, 2013 and causing severe injury and permanent disfigurement to the other passengers.

Sheriff Kenneth Mitchell handed him a community payback order with the conditions he must carry out 240 hours of unpaid work and told the lorry driver he will be disqualified from driving for 19 months.

Passing sentence, he told Wilson: “Anton Dementyev was a much-loved and popular young man, who had the prospect of a happy and successful future ahead of him.

“He had set out to achieve his goals to be a success for his family and his girlfriend. He made them proud. They will continue to mourn but they will never forget.”

Speaking about the three surviving friends of Mr Dementyev, he said: “The life of each of these young men has been detrimentally affected with far-reaching adverse consequences for each of them and their families.”

The sheriff added: “Whilst I accept that your speed was not a contributing factor, I am not prepared to ignore it in determining whether your inattention was momentary.

“Your careless driving arose from inattention which was more than momentary.”

Speaking outside the court, Vladimir Dementyev, who travelled from Russia to be at the court hearing, said: “It’s a kind of mockery of justice.

“It’s not justice. We lost our son, he was our life, we are suffering every day.”

Mr Abolov also expressed his unhappiness over the community service sentence and said: “It’s too light a sentence. It wasn’t just a car accident. We lost Anton. I thought the sentence should be different.”

Earlier on the day of the incident Wilson left Harrogate in Yorkshire with plumbing materials to start his journey to Glasgow.

Around 11pm on 8 May, Mr Dementyev and his friends took a taxi from Dumbarton Road heading to Glasgow city centre.

Procurator fiscal depute John Bedford said: “All were en route to a nightclub in Queen Street, Glasgow, to celebrate the conclusion of their exams.”

Mr Abolov sat in the passenger seat in the front while the other three sat in the back with Mr Dementyev in the middle in the back.

None of the students in the back of the car was wearing a seatbelt.

At around 11:20pm Wilson came off of the motorway and travelled through the junction towards the traffic lights on Argyle Street, travelling at 34mph in a 30mph zone.

At the same time the taxi made its way along Stobcross Street to the junction with Argyle Street.

Defence counsel Simon Gilbride said Wilson has been driving since he was 17 and has held an HGV licence for more than 30 years.

He said his client wanted to give his condolences to all those involved and particularly Mr Dementyev’s family.

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