Glasgow & West Scotland

Driver jailed for wedding mum death crash in Glasgow

Mary Laurie and scene of the crash Image copyright Police Scotland and Crown Office
Image caption Marie Laurie died at the scene of the crash

A 21-year-old drink driver who caused the death of a woman who was on her way home from her son's wedding has been jailed for seven and a half years.

Marie Laurie, 57, from Easterhouse, had just got into a taxi when it was struck by a car, driven by Steven Bennie, who was being chased by police at the time.

She died at the scene of the crash, on Edinburgh Road in Glasgow, on 29 November 2015.

A trial heard that Bennie drove "well in excess" of the speed limit.

A passenger estimated he was travelling at 80mph.

Image copyright Mike Gibbons
Image caption Steven Bennie has been jailed for seven and a half years

At the High Court in Glasgow, Lord Boyd said: "Mrs Laurie was travelling home from her son's wedding, one of the happiest days of her life. In an instant her life was gone."

Bennie, of the city's Shettleston area, had earlier admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

Lord Boyd told Bennie that if he had not pleaded guilty he would have jailed him for 11 years.

The judge told the 21-year-old he accepted he was genuinely remorseful, but added that he had driven at speeds of up to 80mph in a 30mph limit while uninsured, with no licence and having consumed alcohol.

Image caption Marie Laurie and her husband were on their way home from her son's wedding

Bennie was banned from driving for 10 years.

Speaking outside the court, Mrs Laurie's son, Martin Colquhoun, said the family was happy with the sentence.

'Strong family'

He told reporters: "We got what we expected, it's never enough compared to what we've lost but we got enough for us to be happy today.

"It's not long enough to take away the pain we're going through but we are a very strong family and that will get us through this."

He added: "It was one of the happiest days of my life, obviously getting married seeing all my family happy, the fact it turned so quickly, it was probably one of the most poignant moments of my life."

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Media captionMarie Laurie's son Martin Colquhoun spoke outside the court

The crash happened at a junction between Edinburgh Road and Springboig Road in the city's east end.

Mrs Laurie and her husband James had been celebrating her son Martin Colquhoun's wedding at a hotel in Cumnock.

The couple had been dropped off in a minibus and had got into a taxi to take them home.

They were not wearing seatbelts with Mr Laurie initially standing up trying to place his wife's flowers on a seat.

The court heard that just as the taxi turned into Edinburgh Road, Bennie's vehicle came across the junction through the red light and collided with the taxi.

Image caption Mrs Laurie was on her way home from her son's wedding when the crash happened

Mrs Laurie suffered fatal head and chest injuries.

Her husband and the taxi driver had to be rescued by fire officers after being trapped in the cab.

Bennie's defence counsel John McElroy said: "He takes full responsibility for what happened. He realises that, but for his actions, the tragedy would not have happened.

"He has inflicted a catastrophic loss on the Laurie family. Nothing he can do or say can bring comfort to this family."

'Going to be tough'

Mrs Laurie's son will mark his first wedding anniversary with his wife next month. Mr Colquhoun said: "It's going to be a tough couple of days, married one day and lost my mum the next day.

"We're planning on going away for a couple of days to get away from life in general. I will never forget those two days of my life, you always remember your wedding day.

"It's the highlight of your life, to lose your mum the next day in tragic circumstances is going to be tough, it's going to be tough for the whole family.

"We're going to take it as it comes, the next month is going to be a hard month."

Bennie sat through the court appearance with his head bowed and showed no emotion as he was led away to begin his sentence.

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