Fam­ily await out­come of pri­vate pros­e­cu­tion

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

The sib­lings of a man mown down when a bus driver blacked out at the wheel say they are watch­ing the planned pri­vate pros­e­cu­tion of Harry Clarke with baited breath.

Jim Lochrie was trag­i­cally killed on March 31, 2012, when his First Bus col­league David Logue fainted while driv­ing and ploughed his dou­ble-decker into a bus stop on Cath­cart Road.

Like Glas­gow bin lorry driver Harry Clarke and Wil­liam Payne - who killed two peo­ple af­ter faint­ing at the wheel in 2010, Logue had ear­lier lied about his med­i­cal his­tory to re­tain his driv­ing li­cence.

Speak­ing to the Re­former on the eve of their brother’s four-year an­niver­sary, sib­lings Archie Lochrie, Yvonne Lochrie and Caro­line Rus­sell said they have been ad­vised to await the out­come of the fight to launch a pri­vate pros­e­cu­tion against Clarke and Payne be­fore tak­ing any fur­ther ac­tion.

The Re­former re­ported ear­lier this month that the Lochrie sib­lings were buoyed by news that the fam­i­lies dev­as­tated in the Ge­orge Square dis­as­ter had been granted le­gal aid to pur­sue their own case against Harry Clarke.

Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment min­is­ters agreed on March 9 that le­gal aid would be pro­vided to the Mc­Quade/Sweeney fam­ily and the fam­i­lies of Mhairi Convy and Laura Ste­wart who were killed when Payne blacked out at the wheel of his Land Rover in Glas­gow in 2010.

Hav­ing sought le­gal ad­vice within days of that an­nounce­ment, the Lochrie sib­lings say they will wait to see if judges give the other fam­i­lies the green light to pro­ceed with their pri­vate pros­e­cu­tion.

Archie said his lawyer ad­vised that would be right time to lodge the Bill of Crim­i­nal Letters against David Logue and to ap­ply for le­gal aid.

He said: “It has been over 100 years since a pri­vate pros­e­cu­tion has hap­pened, it is very com­pli­cated.

“Our lawyer has said he will keep a watch on it to see what the out­come is for the bin lorry fam­ily and the fam­i­lies of the two girls killed in Glas­gow.

“If it does go ahead and le­gal aid is still in place for the bin lorry fam­ily then he will get in con­tact with us right away.”

The Crown Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice con­firmed ear­lier last year that un­der the cur­rent law a crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion was not pos­si­ble against all three of the ‘black out driv­ers’ be­cause it would have to be proven they each knew they were about the col­lapse at the time of the in­ci­dents.

But Archie says the law should be changed to recog­nise that peo­ple are putting lives at risk when they lie about their med­i­cal his­tory.

He added: “These peo­ple, to me they don’t seem to care what they are putting the fam­i­lies through.

“It’s my brother’s an­niver­sary this week and my sis­ter Caro­line in East Kil­bride has been phon­ing me cry­ing her eyes out. It’s hard ev­ery sin­gle day to think those peo­ple are walk­ing free.”

Watch­ing Archie and Yvonne Lochrie want jus­tice for their brother, Jim

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