Driver who killed OAP is jailed
A Rutherglen businessman who killed a pensioner by hitting her with his Range Rover has been jailed for three years.
Vincent Friel, 44, whose vehicle hit Charlotte Collins, 68, at a pedestrian crossing in Barrhead Road, Glasgow, was also banned from driving for five years.
Miss Collins died shortly afterwards and her cousin Margaret Haldane, 69, was seriously injured.
Friel’s defence that he blacked out at the wheel and went through a red light at a pedestrian crossing was similar to the one used by controversial council bin lorry driver Harry Clarke.
Last week at the High Court in Glasgow judge John Morris QC told Friel: “You were a normal, respectable member of the community until the date of this accident. I take into account the exceptionally slow speed your vehicle was travelling at. However, you drove through a pedestrian crossing on a red light, causing the death of one lady and injuring another.
“Miss Collins’ relatives have lost a much loved family member. The effect on the families has been devastating. No sentence I can pass will assuage such devastation.”
Defence QC Edward Targowski said that the incident happened at very low speed, estimated to be as low as 4mph.
Mr Targowski added: “Mr Friel is completely devastated at the result of this incident. He is fully aware of the pain and damage that were inflicted on both families and says it must be unimaginable.”
Miss Collins and her cousin Margaret Haldane were struck by the 4x4 close to Silverburn shopping centre in January 2014.
Friel, who owns a property letting business employing 20 people, was taking blood pressure medication at the time. He had also been prescribed Viagra and medicine to take away headaches that were brought on by having sex.
His lawyers claimed the combined medicine caused his blood pressure to drop, causing him to faint.
But the jury found Friel guilty of causing the death of Ms Collins and the serious injury of Miss Haldane by driving dangerously.
In evidence Vincent Friel told the court: “I’m just devastated. It has affected me greatly. I can’t believe any of this. It could have been my own mother.”