Cyclist killer Gary McCourt sentence 'scandalous'

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Gary McCourt
Image caption,
McCourt had a previous conviction for causing death by reckless driving

A motorist who caused the death of a cyclist has been banned from driving for five years.

Gary McCourt, 49, from Edinburgh, was found guilty last month of killing Audrey Fyfe, 75, in August 2011.

The Cyclists Touring Club branded his punishment "scandalous", while prosecutors are considering whether the sentence was too lenient.

McCourt was found guilty in 1986 of causing another cyclist's death by reckless driving.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court had heard how McCourt, who was also ordered to carry out 300 hours of community service, told police he "clipped" Mrs Fyfe's back wheel at a junction.

The cyclist, who was not wearing a helmet at the time, died two days after the collision, between Portobello Road and Craigentinny Avenue on 11 August, 2011.

Image caption,
Audrey Fyfe was killed while on her bike in August 2011

Reacting to the sentence, Mrs Fyfe's widower, Ian, told BBC Scotland: "I feel with him having killed two cyclists already he shouldn't be allowed to drive for life and I don't think that is unreasonable.

"How many times is he going to have to kill someone before he is banned for life?

Sheriff James Scott spared McCourt a prison because there were no aggravating factors, such as drink or drug abuse.

He said the collision between McCourt and Mrs Fyfe was caused because he had "momentarily" lost concentration, adding: "I take into account that the accused has repeatedly expressed genuine remorse for causing the death of Mrs Fyfe.

"I take into account that the accused has been ill and has suffered from depression and that he displays signs of post-traumatic stress disorder."

Image caption,
McCourt was jailed for two years after the death of 22-year-old George Dalgity in 1985

The sheriff said Mrs Fyffe "wasn't to blame in any way for the accident", but added: "She was not wearing a safety helmet and that in my view contributed to her death."

A spokesman for the Crown Office said it would "give careful consideration as to whether the sentence was unduly lenient".

Peter Hayman, of the CTC, added: "This 300 hours of community service and only a five-year ban as a sentence is scandalous and goes against the efforts to encourage cycling."

McCourt was jailed for two years after 22-year-old Edinburgh man George Dalgity was killed as he cycled along the city's Regent Road, on 18 October 1985.

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