Glasgow & West Scotland

Pedro Noche crash sentence 'insults' victim's family

Pedro Noche
Image caption Noche broke down in tears after hearing that he would avoid prison

The family of a woman who was killed by a man driving on the wrong side of the road has described his community service sentence as "insulting".

Pedro Noche admitted causing 80-year-old Margaret McIlroy's death by dangerous driving on the A714 at Pinwherry, South Ayrshire, in May 2010.

At the High Court in Glasgow, the 38-year-old Spaniard was sentenced to 300 hours of community service.

Mrs McIlroy's daughter Sandra Coyle said "that was not justice".

Judge Rita Rae QC told Noche that prison was almost inevitable in cases of this sort, but that there were exceptional circumstances here.

She said Mrs McIlroy's death had a horrendous impact on her family, but that the incident had also been tragic for Noche.

Judge Rae added: "No sentence that I could impose could compensate Mrs McIlroy's family for the loss of a loved one.

"After consideration of all the relevant factors, I feel justice will not be served by imposing a custodial sentence in this case."

Noche broke down in tears in court as he was ordered to carry out community service.

Mrs Coyle, 54, who was also hurt in the crash, condemned the sentence.

Family 'insulted'

"We came here today looking for justice but that was not justice," she said.

"Why did he drive in this country, if he was not sure? He claims he can't speak English, but he spoke it well enough after the crash.

"We all just feel a bit insulted by it all."

Previously, the court heard that on the day of the crash, Mrs McIlroy had been returning from a caravan break with her daughter, son-in-law, grandson and a nine-year-old boy.

They were travelling in a Citroen Xsara being driven by Mrs McIlroy's son-in-law James Coyle.

As they came round a tight bend on the A714 at High Alticane Farm, Pinwherry, Noche was driving towards them on the wrong side of the road in his work's pick-up truck.

Mr Coyle tried to steer away but collided head-on with the Mitsubishi.

Victims' injuries

The occupants of the Citroen all had to be cut free and Mrs McIlroy was airlifted to hospital.

The pensioner, from Port Glasgow in Inverclyde, lost consciousness during the journey and later died as a result of chest injuries.

Mrs Coyle suffered a fractured collarbone while her husband was treated for injuries to his chest and feet.

Mrs McIlroy's grandson James Jnr was also hurt and the nine year-old boy needed a metal plate put into his arm.

The incident happened shortly after Noche, of Girvan, Ayrshire, arrived in Scotland to start work at a wind farm.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites