Glasgow & West Scotland

Careless driver convicted of causing teenager's death at petrol station

Eilish Herron Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Eilish Herron was described as a keen netball player who loved her family

An 83-year-old man who reversed over a teenager at a Renfrewshire petrol station has been convicted of causing her death by careless driving.

Alexander Wotherspoon struck 17-year-old Eilish Herron as she was filling her car up at an Asda petrol station in Linwood in September 2014.

Ms Herron, from Paisley, suffered a head injury and died at the scene.

Wotherspoon, of Houston, Renfrewshire, was convicted after a trial at Paisley Sheriff Court. Sentence was deferred.

Image copyright Watchtower Media
Image caption Alexander Wotherspoon had denied a charge of careless driving

During the trial the court heard that Ms Herron had been filling her blue Renault Clio up with petrol when Wotherspoon reversed his silver Ford Focus over her.

The teenager was dragged underneath the vehicle and paramedics had to jack the car up to get to her.

The court heard that Ms Herron suffered a serious head injury and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wotherspoon admitted hitting Ms Herron, causing her to die from a head injury, on 10 September 2014.

But he denied causing her death by driving without due care and attention and claimed that his knee had hit a poorly installed hand lever next to his steering wheel, causing his car to shoot back and hit Ms Herron.

'Careless actions'

The jury, however, took just an hour to reject his version of events and find him guilty of careless driving.

Wotherspoon showed no emotion as he was convicted and Sheriff Seith Ireland adjourned the case for the pensioner to be assessed by social workers ahead of sentencing.

He also banned Wotherspoon from driving, saying the case involved "a very serious charge" and was "a matter of great anxiety" for the jury.

Following the verdict, Eilish's father John, 45, said in a written statement that Wotherspoon's "careless actions" had caused the death of his daughter,

"He has repeatedly refused to take responsibility for his actions and has hidden behind a story of adaptions to his car being solely responsible," Mr Herron said.

"The only two words the family ever wanted to hear from Mr Wotherspoon was, 'I'm sorry'."

"Instead, all we ever heard was, 'not guilty'.

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