Driver ad­mit­sto killing Har­low

Blairgowrie Advertiser - - NEWS - Court Re­porter

A tex­ting and speed­ing driver has ad­mit­ted run­ning down and killing a tod­dler as she walked home from an east Perthshire play­park with her big sis­ter and a five-year-old boy.

Luke Pirie crashed into lit­tle Har­low Ed­wards at 50mph as he was send­ing “an­gry” texts to his part­ner.

The 23-year-old was rac­ing to con­front the woman when his Ford Fo­cus ca­reered into the two-year-old and the two oth­ers yards from their home in Coupar An­gus.

Wit­nesses told how Har­low’s teenage sis­ter Dionne and the boy – who can’t be named for le­gal rea­sons – were hurled more than 30ft over a wall in the in­ci­dent close to the A94.

Har­low was the youngest of five chil­dren. Her mum Sara (36) and dad Steven (39) had to iden­tify her body af­ter the tragedy last Oc­to­ber.

The High Court in Ed­in­burgh heard on Fri­day how Pirie left his work at Scone Airport at 12.30pm in a bad mood.

He sus­pected his girl­friend had been hav­ing an af­fair and had spent the morn­ing call­ing and tex­ting her.

Ad­vo­cate de­pute Iain McS­por­ran QC told the court Pirie was seen over­tak­ing cars in Bal­beg­gie at a speed which broke the 30mph limit.

He used his iPhone to make a Face­time call to his girl­friend just sec­onds be­fore the im­pact.

Pirie tried to over­take three cars but struck a Citroen be­fore plough­ing on to the pave­ment and into Har­low, Dionne and the boy.

Crash in­ves­ti­ga­tors es­ti­mated his speed to be about 50mph.

Mr McS­por­ran said of Har­low’s mum Sara: “She cries her­self to sleep in the evening. She feels robbed of a life­time of mem­o­ries and she can­not put into words how to ex­actly con­vey the grief that she is suf­fer­ing.”

The lawyer was speak­ing af­ter Pirie, of For­far, pleaded guilty to caus­ing death and in­jury by dan­ger­ous driv­ing.

He told the court that Pirie ap­peared “worked up” as he spoke on his mo­bile phone.

Af­ter the crash, Pirie de­nied he was at fault claim­ing the vic­tims had walked out in front of him.

But ex­pert ev­i­dence and eye­wit­ness ac­counts con­tra­dicted this and at­trib­uted “sole re­spon­si­bil­ity for the col­li­sion to the ac­cused”.

Pirie will be sen­tenced at the High Court in Glas­gow on Oc­to­ber 4.

Speed­ing Luke Pirie

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