Students Families Begin Private Prosecution

21 January 2016, 12:40 | Updated: 21 January 2016, 12:55

Another bid for a rare private prosecution has been submitted by the families of two young students knocked down and killed by a driver with a history of blackouts.

Mhairi Convy, 18, and Laura Stewart, 20, were walking in Glasgow's North Hanover Street on December 17 2010 when a Range Rover apparently lost control, mounted the kerb and hit them.

William Payne, who was 50 at the time of the crash, appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court in November 2012 accused of causing death by driving while uninsured but charges against him were dropped the following November.

A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) was held in 2014 into the deaths of the two women and Sheriff Andrew Normand found five ''reasonable precautions'' could have prevented the accident, which happened after Mr Payne suffered a ''vasovagal episode'' and temporarily lost consciousness, losing control of the vehicle.

The families of Ms Convy and Ms Stewart have consistently called for Mr Payne to face a criminal trial.

Legal firm Digby Brown said a Bill for Criminal Letters was delivered to the Crown Office on Thursday on their behalf.

It is the second Bill sent to the Crown in two days following the launch of a bid by the family of three victims of the Glasgow bin lorry crash to prosecute driver Harry Clarke.

Relatives of Ms Convy and Ms Stewart attended part of the bin lorry crash FAI last year in support of the victims' families.

A Crown Office spokesman said: "The Lord Advocate has received a Bill of Criminal Letters and will give it due consideration.

"The Crown position on this will be made clear to the families and the court when appropriate.''

A statement from the Convy and Stewart families at the end of the FAI in 2014 said: ''It is in the gift of the Crown to see justice served and send a message to the wider public that such conduct will not be tolerated.

"In doing so, the Crown may be able to prevent other families from suffering in the same way as we have.''