Glasgow & West Scotland

Abbie Mclaren: Relative admits causing 12-year-old's death

Martin McGuire Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Martin McGuire was driving at 51mph in a 30mph zone when his car hit Abbie

A man has admitted causing the death of his 12-year-old relative by dangerous driving.

Abbie Mclaren died after being hit by a car on The Loaning in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, on 12 February.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that Martin McGuire, 38, from Hamilton, had been travelling at 51mph on the road, which has a 30mph speed restriction.

McGuire is a cousin of Abbie's father John Mclaren, who was a passenger in the car when Abbie was hit.

The court heard that Abbie had no contact with her father and did not know McGuire.

McGuire provided a negative breath test, but admitted he had no licence and no insurance at the time of the crash. It also emerged that he had never had a full driving licence but was the holder of an expired provisional licence.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Abbie Mclaren died in hospital the day after being hit by the car

Abbie, who was a pupil at Dalziel High School, was hit by McGuire's Citroen D3 car at 16:08 after she and a friend got off a bus outside the U-Save shop.

The 12-year-old's friend had stopped half-way across the road but Abbie had continued to run across and was hit by the car.

The court was told that it was coincidental that McGuire and Abbie's father had been driving along the road at the time.

The court heard that the speed at which the vehicle was travelling caused Abbie to be projected forward onto a nearby parked car. She suffered multiple fractures and died in hospital the next day.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC said: "He [McGuire] drove the vehicle well in excess of the 30mph speed limit.

"It was calculated from CCTV footage that he travelled at an average speed of 51mph while the vehicle was braking.

"There was nothing obscuring his view and no reason for him not to observe her just before the point of collision.

"The speed travelled did not allow sufficient reaction time to an obvious hazard such as a person crossing the road."

McGuire, a father-of-seven, had stopped the car and remained at the scene.

Previous convictions

During court proceedings it also emerged that he had previous road traffic convictions for offences including drink driving, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

Sentence was deferred to 28 June for reports to be prepared.

McGuire, a roofer from Hamilton, was released on bail but was warned by Judge Lady Scott: "Please don't misunderstand that you must appreciate you are facing a prison sentence."

McGuire was also banned from driving in the interim.

Mr Prentice told the court: "Abbie Mclaren lived with her mother and stepfather and brother and sisters and was especially close to her 13-year-old sister.

"She was a very popular girl and enjoyed life to the full. She often went on sleepovers to her grandparents. Her grandparents are going to miss her deeply."

The prosecutor added that Abbie loved football and swimming.

Image caption Hundreds of people took part in a silent march, calling for traffic control measures on The Loaning

Six days after her death, almost 1,000 people turned out for a torchlight vigil to call for safer roads in Motherwell.

The silent march lined the road where Abbie died.

Campaigners are calling for North Lanarkshire Council to put traffic control measures on The Loaning and organised a petition which gained more than 12,600 signatures in less than a week.

At the time, the local authority said it would be working with Police Scotland throughout the investigation and would take appropriate action based on the findings.

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