Driver jailed after Motherwell death

Brian Docherty
Brian Docherty

A DRIVER who caused the death of a former nurse after suffering a diabetic fit at the wheel was last week jailed for six years and eight months.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that Brian Docherty’s car ploughed into friends Elizabeth McGuiness and Barbara McCready as they walked from a service at Motherwell Cathedral last June.

Miss McGuiness (63) died in the carnage and Mrs McCready (64) was left seriously injured.

Docherty (45), from Uddingston, should not have been on the road, but failed to inform the DVLA of his poor history of taking medication to control diabetes.

The court was shown harrowing CCTV footage of the carnage Docherty caused on June 27, 2011.

Having initially driven the wrong way down the Muir Street he stopped his car, but witnesses then reported he appeared to have some sort of fit and accelerated forcing other drivers to dodge him.

He then careered into a parked car before mounting the pavement hitting the two women, with Miss McGuiness dragged under the wheels of Docherty’s car and Mrs McCready being thrown into the air, before eventually coming to a halt after smashing into railings.

Miss McGuiness was pronounced dead at the scene having suffered extensive head and leg injuries, while Mrs McCready spent three months in hospital with multiple fractures.

A dazed-looking Docherty, who was still in his car , told paramedics he was diabetic and medical records showed he ‘poorly controlled’ his condition.

Prosecutor Murdo MacTaggart told the court: “It appears the accused suffered a hypoglycemic attack while he was driving.

“His low blood-sugar level would have severely affected his ability to drive and he would have been close to passing out at the time of the incident.

“Poorly controlling his diabetes would have resulted in the suspension of his licence, but he did not notify the DVLA and continued to hold a full licence.”

Docherty admitted causing the death of Miss McGuiness by dangerous driving and leaving Mrs McCready severely injured.

Solicitor advocate Ali Murray, defending, said: “Mr Docherty has expressed remorse for what he did.

“He accepts full responsibility for this. Nothing I can say on his behalf can alter the catastrophic events of that day.”

Along with handing out a jail sentence Lady Stacey banned Docherty from driving for 10 years.

She told him: “Nothing I can say or indeed anything you can say or do can lessen the grief for the family of Miss McGuiness. You will have to live with the knowledge of causing the death of one woman and serious injury to another.

“It was a result of your medical condition. You knew of your condition and failed to take the steps you should have taken which would have led to the surrender of your licence.”

Members of Miss McGuiness and Mrs McCready’s families were in court, but declined to comment afterwards.