Driver who caused cyclist’s death had previous

Audrey Fyfe.
Audrey Fyfe.
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A MOTORIST whose careless driving caused the death of an elderly cyclist was convicted of a similar offence 27 years ago, a court has heard.

Gary McCourt,49, was found guilty in 1986 of causing death by reckless driving, Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard today.

The revelation emerged just moments after a jury found McCourt guilty of killing 75-year-old Audrey Fyfe at a road in the Capital in August 2011.

The court had heard how McCourt had admitted to police that he had “clipped” Audrey’s back wheel and saw the bike rider “somersault” through the air at the junction between Portobello Road and Craigentinny Avenue.

Mrs Fyfe, of Coillesdene Crescent, Joppa, Edinburgh, died two days after being struck by McCourt on August 9, 2011.

McCourt claimed that he hadn’t committed any criminal offence and that the collision between him and Mrs Fyfe was accidental.

However, a jury refused to believe McCourt’s claim and convicted him of causing death by careless driving.

Depute procurator fiscal Lesley Smith told the court that McCourt had a criminal record.

She added: “He was convicted in 1986 of causing death by reckless driving.”

McCourt, of Niddrie Mill Avenue, Edinburgh, had denied a single charge of causing death by careless driving during the trial which was heard before Sheriff James Scott.

During the trial the jury heard that McCourt had asked the police to keep him informed about the female cyclist’s condition.

After hearing about his previous conviction, Sheriff Scott deferred sentence on McCourt in order for the court to obtain reports about the motorist’s character.

Thanking the members of the jury, Sheriff Scott added: “On any view this is an extremely sad case.”

McCourt will be sentenced at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on May 3, 2013.