Glasgow bin lorry crash driver ‘still employed’

THE DRIVER of the bin lorry crash which killed six people and injured several others is still employed by Glasgow City Council, a Fatal Accident Inquiry has heard.

A policeman looks at flowers close to the scene in George Square, Glasgow, where a bin lorry crashed into a group of pedestrians and killed six last December. Picture: PA

The council’s human resources manager Geraldine Ham revealed that 58-year-old Harry Clarke is still on the payroll as she gave evidence for a third day at a fatal accident inquiry into the deaths.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, Ms Ham was asked by Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC, who is leading the inquiry for the Crown: “Is Mr Clarke still employed by Glasgow Court Council?”

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“That is my understanding,” she replied.

The HR manager said that the council was looking at introducing new measures into their recruitment process.

One suggestion being looked at is sending medical questionnaires to the applicant’s GP to be filled in or to ask doctors to provide medical information about people applying for certain jobs such as driving.

Ms Ham was asked by Ms Thomson: “Do you have anything else to suggest?” and she replied: “No.”

Earlier, advocate Paul Reid, representing Mr Clarke, asked Ms Ham if she had any medical qualifications, to which she replied: “No.”

He then said: “At least one of the doctors says that he considers Mr Clarke to have been a generally healthy man, would that have been relevant?”

Ms Ham replied: “I think, in relation to medical records, the council would ask occupational health people to assess if he was fit to undertake the duties.”

Mr Reid said: “Earlier you agreed that Mr Clarke was not truthful about his medical history - how do you think you are qualified to give an opinion?” and she replied: “I was asked about his history of answering BUPA questionnaires.”

Referring to an earlier answer when Ms Ham said Mr Clarke wouldn’t have been given the job if information about his absences from work and medical record had been known, Mr Reid said she couldn’t give such an answer because she didn’t have all the relevant information.

He added: “All the answers you were giving you were trying to tell the truth.”

Ms Ham replied: “Yes, I was telling the truth.”

Mr Reid then said: “If any of the answers you gave were inaccurate, you were trying your best?” and Ms Ham said: “Yes.”

QC Peter Gray, representing the council, said: “Glasgow City Council is dependent on the honesty of those who apply for a job,” which Ms Ham confirmed.

The inquiry before Sheriff John Beckett QC continues.