South Scotland

Dumfries man convicted over A75 crash deaths

A Dumfries man has been convicted of killing a retired teacher and his university researcher wife in a fatal car crash.

Steven Machell and Dr Joan Machell, both 63, from Lancaster, died following the crash on the A75 near Dumfries in March last year.

Kevin McCrindle, 37, of Grieve Walk, Dumfries, was convicted at the High Court in Glasgow on a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

He will be sentenced next month.

The court heard McCrindle had driven on to the wrong side of the road in an attempt to get past other motorists.

He was estimated to have been travelling at more than 90mph at the time.

Research fellow

It also emerged that McCrindle had been guilty of a "road rage" offence in 2004 on the same road where the crash occurred.

The jury heard how the Machells had travelled from their home in Lancaster to attend a Robert Burns conference in Ayrshire.

Mr Machell was a retired design and technology teacher while his wife was a research fellow at Lancaster University.

The couple were in their Citroen Xantia on the morning of 20 March when McCrindle's Renault Megane ploughed into them.

The trial was shown footage of the mangled wreckage of both vehicles following the crash.

The Machells' eldest daughter Joanna Shaw told the jury how the couple - who had four children - often travelled to Scotland to stay at a friend's cottage near the Borders.

Mrs Shaw said: "My dad was lovely - he had a great sense of humour and was a kind and loving man.

"He was generally a very nice bloke. My mum was a fan of Robert Burns and Scottish poetry. She loved everything about Scotland really."

Judge Lord Stewart continued McCrindle's bail and deferred sentencing until 25 May.

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