HMA v Luke Richard Pirie

At the High Court in Glasgow today Lord Ericht sentenced Luke Richard Pirie to six years and two months imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. On sentencing Lord Ericht made the following statement in court:

You have pled guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

 The Edwards children were walking together on the pavement near their home, holding hands.  Because of you, Dionne and Leon were seriously injured and Harlow is dead.  You have shattered the life of a family.  For them nothing will ever be the same.

 I have given careful consideration to the Social Work report and to all that has been said on your behalf by Mr Stewart.

 Your previous convictions are all at summary and Justice of the Peace level and are not motoring offences so I will not take these into account.

 In sentencing, I require to have regard to the Sentencing Guidelines.

 On 13 October 2016 you indulged in a prolonged persistent and deliberate course of very bad driving.  On the journey from your work you sent and read images and text messages.  The collision occurred within a very short time of you last engaging in activity on your mobile phone, held in your hand and requiring you to pay attention to the device.  During the course of your journey you were seen driving well in excess of the 30mph speed limit in Balbeggie, and were also seen in Coupar Angus town centre driving too fast for the 30mph limit and road conditions.  On the outskirts of Coupar Angus, still within the 30mph limit, you attempted to overtake a line of three cars.  That manoeuvre involved travelling through a marked pedestrian crossing.  It would have been dangerous even at 30mph but when you impacted with the other car your speed was a minimum of 50mph.  In these circumstances I have assessed the offence as falling within level 1 of the Guidelines.

 Your offence is aggravated by the extremely serious injuries caused to Dionne and Leon, which required complex medical treatment and have left permanent damage.  It is mitigated by your genuine remorse which you have shown.

 Had you not pled guilty, I would have sentenced you to a period of imprisonment of 9 years, 3 months of which would have been attributable to the bail aggravation. However, in light of your early guilty plea, I sentence you to a period of imprisonment of 6 years, 2 months of which is attributable to the bail aggravation.


The sentence will be backdated to 15 September 2017


I order endorsement of your driving record.  I disqualify you from holding or obtaining a driving licence for a period of 7 years from this date and order that you sit the extended test of competence.

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