Bin lorry crash families lodge papers for private prosecution

PAPERS have been lodged in court as part of moves to bring a private prosecution against Glasgow bin lorry crash driver Harry Clarke.
Bin lorry crash driver Harry Clarke. Picture: GettyBin lorry crash driver Harry Clarke. Picture: Getty
Bin lorry crash driver Harry Clarke. Picture: Getty

Lawyers for the family of victims Jack and Lorraine Sweeney and their granddaughter, Erin McQuade, submitted the Bill for Criminal Letters this week at the High Court in Edinburgh.

The Crown Office confirmed earlier this week that it would not grant approval to the plans as Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland declined to support the prosecution.

Judges will now rule on whether it will go ahead.

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The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) also confirmed papers were received in a bid for a private prosecution submitted by the families of two young students knocked down and killed in Glasgow. Mhairi Convy, 18, and Laura Stewart, 20, were in North Hanover Street on 17 December 2010 when a Range Rover mounted the kerb and hit them.

A spokesman said: “SCTS can confirm that a Bill for Criminal Letters on behalf of Matthew McQuade, Jacqueline McQuade and Yvonne Reilly against Henry (Harry) Clarke and a Bill for Criminal Letters on behalf of John Stewart, Linda Stewart, Alan Convey and Aileen Convey against William Payne were lodged at the High Court of Justiciary at Edinburgh on 27 January.

“The next stage is for the court to determine further procedure.”

Stephenie Tait, Jacqueline Morton and Gillian Ewing also died when the bin lorry driven by Mr Clarke went out of control in Queen Street in December 2014.

A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) held last year heard he lost consciousness at the wheel and that he had a history of health issues – including a previous blackout in 2010 when at the wheel of a stationary bus – but had not disclosed his medical background to his employers or the DVLA.

The Crown Office has consistently said there is insufficient evidence in law to raise criminal proceedings against Mr Clarke.

The Lord Advocate also said this week that he would not support a private prosecution of the driver involved in the 2010 crash.