Motherwell death driver warned he faces jail time

A dad-of-seven admitted causing the death of 12-year-old girl as she crossed the road with a friend just seconds after getting off a bus.
Martin McGuire as he left court last week.. Pic by Iain McLellan/Spindrift.Martin McGuire as he left court last week.. Pic by Iain McLellan/Spindrift.
Martin McGuire as he left court last week.. Pic by Iain McLellan/Spindrift.

Roofer Martin McGuire’s red Citroen D3 struck Abbie McLaren with such force that she was flung into a parked car and suffered horrendous injuries.

The horror crash took place at The Loaning, Motherwell, on February 12 while McGuire was driving at more than 50mph in a 30mph zone.

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McGuire, 39, who has never held a licence, has previous convictions for drink driving and driving while disqualified and having no insurance.

Abbie and an 11-year-old friend got off a First bus outside the U-Save shop around 4pm that day.

Both girls began to cross the road. Abbie’s friend stopped halfway, but Abbie continued to cross and was struck by McGuire’s car.

Abbie’s father Adam McLaren who is McGuire’s cousin was travelling as a passenger. Abbie lived with her mother and step-father and had no contact with her father.

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The schoolgirl who was described by her family as “enjoying life to the full and very popular” suffered horrific injuries and died in hospital the next day.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC told the High Court in Glasgow that Abbie suffered multiple skull fractures, a fracture to her spine, broken ribs and pelvis, fractures through both thigh bones and her right upper arm.”

Police crash investigators concluded that the crash was the result of McGuire’s speed and inattention.

Mr Prentice said: “He drove the vehicle well in excess of the 30 mph speed limit. It was calculated from CCTV footage that he was travelling at an average speed of 51mph while the vehicle was braking.

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“There was nothing obscuring his view and no reason for him not to observe her just before the point of collision. The dangerousness of the driving stems from the vehicle travelling at an excessive speed for the prevailing circumstances which included people alighting from a bus.”

McGuire, of Dykehead Square, Hamilton, admitted causing Abbie’s death by dangerous driving.

McGuire also pled guilty to having no insurance and driving without a licence.

Mr Prentice told the court: “Abbie McLaren lived with her mother, step-father and brother and sisters and was especially close to her 13-year-old sister. She was a very popular girl and enjoyed life to the full. .”

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The court heard that Abbie was not in contact with her father and did not know the accused.

Mr Prentice said that it was purely coincidence that they were passing The Loaning at the time of the collision when Abbie was crossing the road.

There is CCTV footage of the crash, but defence QC Jim Keegan said: “Mr McGuire has not seen it and he does not wish to see it.”

Judge Lady Scott deferred sentence for reports until next month at the High Court in Edinburgh

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She continued McGuire’s bail and banned him from driving in the interim.

She told McGuire: “I’m going to continue your bail, but please don’t misunderstand that, you must appreciate you are facing a prison sentence.”