HMA v Hugh Steel

At the High Court in Edinburgh today Lord Uist sentenced Hugh Steel to 6 years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving. The accused was also disqualified from driving for 10 years.

On sentencing, Lord Uist made the following statement in court:

“You have pleaded guilty to causing the death of Carol Georges and serious injury to Nicolas Georges by dangerous driving at a roundabout in East Kilbride on 3 November last year. You drove while unfit after having consumed drugs, at an excessive speed and without keeping a proper lookout, failed to slow down on your approach to the roundabout, mounted a traffic island and drove straight onto the roundabout and collided with the car driven by Mr Georges, as a result of which he was seriously injured and Mrs Georges was killed. Mr Georges and the close family of Mrs Georges have been devastated by the death of Mrs Georges. Their victim statements make for heart-rending reading.

You are now 39 years old. You have previous convictions, including two convictions in the High Court, and at the time of this incident you were on licence and subject to the extension period of an extended sentence, which was due to expire on 16 December 2023. You were convicted in February 2007 of driving while unfit through drink and/or drugs and disqualified from driving for 2 years. In January 2010 you were sentenced to 9 years imprisonment for assault with intent to rob, assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement and assault and robbery with an extension period of 5 years and in January 2019 you were convicted of careless driving. It can properly be said that you are a criminal.

In sentencing you I must first deal with the unexpired portion of the sentence imposed on you in the High Court in January 2010. As at today’s date there remain to be served 1299 days of that sentence. I shall order that you be returned to prison for a period of 3 years 6 months, to be served before and to be followed by the sentence of imprisonment about to be imposed for the offence on this indictment.

Secondly, I must impose sentence for the offence on this indictment. Having regard to your criminal history and the circumstances of this offence, had you been convicted by a jury after trial, I would have imposed a sentence of 8 years imprisonment. In light of your plea of guilty that sentence will be discounted to 6 years imprisonment.

Thirdly, I must deal with the issue of disqualification from driving. You are disqualified from driving for a period of 10 years and until you pass the extended test of competence to drive.”