Glasgow & West Scotland

Papers for bin lorry prosecution go before judges

The scene of the crash Image copyright PA

Papers have been lodged at the High Court in Edinburgh in a bid to bring a private prosecution against the Glasgow bin lorry driver Harry Clarke.

The bereaved Sweeney/McQuade family submitted the Bill for Criminal Letters this week after the Lord Advocate said he would not support the move.

Judges will now decide whether the private prosecution can go ahead.

They will also decide on another private prosecution bid over the deaths of two students in Glasgow in 2010.

In a statement, the Scottish Courts and tribunals Service (SCTS) said: "SCTS can confirm that a Bill for Criminal Letters on behalf of Matthew McQuade, Jacqueline McQuade and Yvonne Reilly against Henry 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."

Image caption (Clockwise from top left) Jack Sweeney, Lorraine Sweeney, Erin McQuade, Jacqueline Morton, Stephenie Tait and Gillian Ewing were killed in the crash
Image copyright PA
Image caption Harry Clarke was unconscious at the wheel when the bin lorry went out of control, killing six people

The Sweeney/McQuade family want Mr Clarke prosecuted as a fatal accident inquiry found the crash could have been avoided if he had not lied about his medical history.

Mr Clarke, 58, was unconscious when the Glasgow City Council bin lorry veered out of control, killing six people and injuring 17 others.

Those who died in the crash were Erin McQuade, 18, her grandparents Jack Sweeney, 68, and his 69-year-old wife Lorraine, from Dumbarton, Stephenie Tait, 29, and Jacqueline Morton, 51, both from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh.

The Crown Office later said no-one would face charges over the crash and earlier this week, the Lord Advocate said he would not support a private prosecution against Mr Clarke on the grounds that there was not enough evidence.

Image copyright Other
Image caption Mhairi Convy (left) and Laura Stewart died after being hit by William Payne's car in Glasgow
Image caption Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland will not support either private prosecution

Scotland's most senior law officer also said he would not support a private prosecution by the families of two students who were killed by a driver with a history of blackouts.

Mhairi Convy, 18, and Laura Stewart, 20, died after William Payne passed out and his Range Rover hit them on North Hanover Street, Glasgow, in 2010.

An attempt to prosecute Mr Payne was later dropped by the Crown in 2013.

The girls' families have now lodged a Bill of Criminal letters at the High Court in Edinburgh in a bid to start a prosecution.

Like the bin lorry case, the Convy and Stewart families can now only proceed with a private prosecution if they have permission from High Court judges.

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