Glasgow & West Scotland

Killer driver fined over 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 and killed a teenager at a Renfrewshire petrol station has been fined £5,000.

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 was convicted of causing Ms Herron's death by careless driving. He was fined after a sheriff decided he was not fit to carry out unpaid work.

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

Sheriff Seith Ireland said prison could only be imposed if Wotherspoon's driving was so bad it was close to dangerous driving.

The sheriff told Wotherspoon: "In my view your health precludes you from undertaking unpaid work as part of a Community Payback Order.

"I have come to the view that the sentence that can be imposed here, in all the circumstances, can be, and ought to be, a financial one - an exceptional one.

"I'm going to make a financial disposal which will require you to pay a fine, which will have some effect on you."

Sheriff Ireland also banned Wotherspoon from driving for five years.

Paisley Sheriff 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, from Houston, Renfrewshire, admitted hitting Ms Herron, causing her to die from a head injury, on 10 September 2014.

'Careless actions'

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.

The jury, however, rejected his version of events and found him guilty of careless driving.

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 adaptations 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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