Jail for new driver who killed popular pensioner

Posted on February 20th, 2014 by James Luckhurst

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 16.06.08A MAN has been jailed for four years for causing a road crash that killed a popular pensioner in the Scottish town of Greenock. Andrew Duffy, 31, lost control and smashed into the vehicle of great-grandfather George Sweeney in Carwood Street in 2011. Mr Sweeney, 76, of Baxter Street, died in Inverclyde Royal from severe chest injuries he sustained in the crash. Duffy had only held a driving licence for five months.

Bus driver James McLees, who saw an earlier overtaking manoeuvre by Duffy, said in evidence: “I thought his driving was reckless and stupid. I thought to myself, ‘he’s going to kill someone or himself if he crashes’.”

The High Court in Glasgow heard that Duffy had only passed his driving test five months earlier and had been fined for drink driving just weeks before the fatal crash.

Sentencing at the High Court in Glasgow, Lord Matthews told Duffy: “You were found guilty of causing, by dangerous driving, the death of George Sweeney, a much loved brother, father and grandfather. Indeed, since he died there was born a great-grandchild and it only compounds the tragedy that the two never met. “In this case the evidence showed that before the accident you undertook an overtaking manoeuvre which it is fair, I think, to describe as an example of bad driving. Some two miles further along the road you failed to negotiate a bend and that led directly to the collision which caused Mr Sweeney’s death. “Nothing I say and in particular no sentence I pass, can ever modify or compensate for the family’s terrible, needless and untimely loss.”