Death driver jailed on appeal

A Spanish windfarm worker who admitted causing the death of an 80-year-old woman by dangerous driving has been jailed by appeal judges.

Pedro Noche admitted causing the death of Margaret McIlroy’s death by dangerous driving on the A714 at Pinwherry in May last year.

The 38-year-old Spaniard was sentenced to 300 hours of community service at the High Court in Glasgow earlier this year but he has now been jailed for one year after an appeal by the Crown.

Lord Mackay sitting with Lady Smith and Lord Wheatley in Edinburgh last week said they were satisfied that the sentencing judge had been unduly lenient in the case.

At the time of the original sentencing Mrs McIlroy’s daughter, Sandra Coyle, said that the sentence “was not justice”. Judge Rita Rae QC had told Noche that prison was almost inevitable in cases of dangerous driving, but that there were “exceptional circumstances”.

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 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.

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

He stated in the original court case that he had been “confused” by British driving laws.