Killer taxi driver is spared prison

Picture: TSPL
Picture: TSPL
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A TAXI driver who fatally injured a 74-year-old pedestrian when he drove into him on a zebra crossing has been banned from driving for 40 months

Clark Munro, 46, of Bonny-rigg, pleaded guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 1 July to causing the death of Ian McCance in January last year by driving without due care and attention in Marchmont Road, Edinburgh.

Munro was back in court yesterday where he was also ordered to perform 240 hours of unpaid work.

The court heard Mr McCance was returning home at 3am after attending a Burns supper and was halfway over the crossing when he was struck.

Mina Poppius, prosecuting, said Munro had three passengers in the back of the cab.

She told how the taxi driver “felt the taxi shudder” before asking his passengers “if they had seen anything”. The passengers described how they saw a man lying in the road.

Munro got out to try to help the pedestrian after asking the passengers to ring the police.

On the way to hospital, Mr McCance suffered a cardiac arrest and later died in hospital.

Defence solicitor Paul Smith said the taxi driver had been left traumatised and was now being prescribed anti-depressants.

He told the court: “He said he will never drive a taxi again.”

Mr Smith said the taxi had been travelling at 28mph and Munro had not been talking to his passengers. A police examination showed Munro’s mobile had not been used.

Sheriff Frank Crowe asked: “He didn’t see the man at all?” Mr Smith replied that was the case.

The sheriff said the accident had been due to the inattention of Munro. He said: “He seems to have had a clear view and ample time to avoid the pedestrian.”

He described how the pensioner had been struck heavily before being thrown across the bonnet. Mr McCance struck his head on the windscreen, causing it to shatter, before falling into the road. He suffered severe head injuries and a pelvic injury.

Sheriff Crowe said: “Mr Munro ought to have seen him. There were no skid marks, which showed the accused had failed to apply emergency braking. The accused failed to observe Mr McCance as a result of a distraction or tiredness.”

The sheriff said that, as a result of Mr McCance’s death, the accountancy firm he owned had been wound up, resulting in one of his three sons losing his job.

He said: “No satisfactory explanation has been given for his failure to see and react to Mr McCance. He was not keeping a proper look-out.”.

The sheriff said the maximum penalty was five years in jail, but he took into account the early guilty plea and the fact Munro had no previous convictions.