Glasgow & West Scotland

Security guard's killers 'planned to steal van to go joyriding'

Mohammad Abu Sammour Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Mr Abu Sammour had been working as a security guard at the housing development

The men who killed a security guard by driving over him with his own works van had intended to steal the vehicle to go joyriding, a court has heard.

Scott Pearson, 22, was convicted on Wednesday of murdering Mohammed Abu Sammour, 49, at Newarthill in North Lanarkshire last October.

Co-accused Ryan Hunter, 28, had previously admitted a lesser charge of culpable homicide.

Hunter was a passenger in the van which Pearson drove over their victim.

Prosecutor Murdo McTaggart told the High Court in Glasgow that Hunter played no part in any assault on Mr Sammour, a father-of-four from Airdrie.

Mr Sammour was attacked by Pearson and an 18-year-old man, who cannot be named, and knocked unconscious.

As he lay behind the van at the Taylor Wimpey building site at Newarthill, Pearson reversed over him, leaving him with unsurvivable injuries.

Mr McTaggart said Hunter did not take any action to stop Pearson driving towards Mr Sammour.

"He did not get out of the van to move Mr Sammour out of the way," he said. "He remained in the van as Pearson reversed."

The prosecutor added: "Although he denied it in evidence during Pearson's trial, Hunter must have realised that the van had driven over the area where Mr Sammour had been lying and that Mr Sammour must have been struck by the van.

"He did not exit the van or tend to the deceased, not did he take any steps to summon assistance for him."

Image copyright PA Media

Judge Lord Burns asked defence QC Herbert Kerriga: "Has Mr Hunter told you what the purpose of taking this van was?"

Mr Kerrigan replied: "The purpose was simply to go joyriding. It was an opportunistic decision to take the van, which they thought was empty."

Hunter has previously written a letter expressing his remorse to Mr Sammour's family.

In it he said: "If only my character had been stronger at the time to stop this from taking place completely.

"When I imagine Mr Sammour's cheerful smile from newspapers my heart breaks as I can only imagine him as being an amazing person, a fun-loving man with the rest of his life ahead of him with wife and children."

Hunter said he wished for the Sammour family's forgiveness and added: "I hope they can get past this pain in the near future."

Lord Burns deferred sentence on Hunter until next month for background reports and an assessment of the risk he poses to the public.

Pearson will be sentenced at the same time.

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