Tougher sentence demanded for driver who killed two cyclists

Motorist given community service and five-year driving ban for latest offence

The families of two cyclists killed by the same motorist have launched a formal appeal to have the “scandalous” sentence for the driver’s latest offence overturned today.

In early May, Gary McCourt was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and given a five-year driving ban for killing Audrey Fyfe in Edinburgh in 2011. A 22-year-old cyclist, George Dalgity, was also killed by McCourt in 1985 – he was given a 10-year ban but only held a provisional licence at the time.

Fyfe’s husband, Ian, and Dalgity’s daughter, Ann, handed a letter to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in Edinburgh this morning, registering a formal request to have McCourt re-sentenced.

The family members were accompanied by the chief executive of the CTC, Gordon Seabright. Audrey Fyfe was a member of the CTC and her family contacted the charity to help campaign for the sentence to be appealed and McCourt given at least a lifetime driving ban. 

McCourt, who the court heard had shown signs of depression and post traumatic stress disorder, was not given a prison sentence for killing Fyfe. In the view of Sheriff James Scott, who presided over the case, there were no aggravating factors such as driving under the influence, and he had “momentarily” lost concentration. He said that the fact Fyfe wasn’t wearing a helmet, in his view, contributed to her death.

After McCourt was sentenced on 3 May, Peter Hayman, of CTC Scotland, said: “This 300 hours of community service and only a five-year ban as a sentence is scandalous and goes against the efforts to encourage cycling.” 

More than 2,800 emails have already been sent directly to the public prosecutors in Scotland demanding they press for McCourt to be re-sentenced. The Crown Office said this morning they will give “careful consideration as to whether the sentence was unduly lenient”.

Later this week, thousands of cyclists are expected to join the Pedal on Parliament rally to demand that Scottish politicians make roads safer and that laws to protect more vulnerable road users are properly enforced.

View the CTC's letter to the Crown Office here

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