The family of a great-grandmother who was killed by a DHL delivery driver who reversed over her has hit out after he was spared jail. James McShane, 54, struck Elizabeth Moffat with his van as she walked along a road in Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire.
The 80-year-old was dragged three metres underneath the van as McShane continued to reverse the vehicle. She suffered catastrophic injuries including a fractured sternum, multiple broken ribs and lacerated lungs.
You are reading: DHL driver who reversed over Scots gran with his van spared jail as family slam ‘lenient sentence’
In a statement released through Digby Brown Solicitors, her family said: “This sentence is so lenient it’s just floored us. We knew a sentence was never going to undo what happened to our mum but we didn’t expect this. A few hours of community service, a brief ban and not even a fine?
“This simply isn’t justice. How is it justice to see him walk home, hugging his relatives and no doubt celebrating his freedom. While we’re left feeling like we don’t matter. Like our mum doesn’t matter. A phrase repeated today several times was ‘momentary inattention’, but it wasn’t.
“This has impacted us as children and it’s just devastated our father who, now that his wife is gone, has been left in a home suffering from dementia. Waiting nearly three years for justice, it’s basically just been for nothing.”
After the collision, McShane tried to revive Mrs Moffat after phoning 999 but when paramedics arrived at the scene she was pronounced dead. An investigation revealed all of the reverse sensors on the van were working at the time of the incident in May 2020.
Readmore : Clean Air Zones in UK cities blasted as another ‘money-making scheme’
It also found DHL driver McShane was reversing at a “reasonable speed” of around 5.5mph at the time of collision and passed all alcohol, drug and sight tests.
A court heard he said, “I think I’ve run over a woman, I never seen her”, moments after he struck her. McShane, of Moodiesburn, appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court and admitted causing death by careless driving.
Sheriff William Gallacher banned him from driving for 15 months and ordered him to carry out 250 hours unpaid work as a direct alternative to custody. The court heard dad-of-two McShane, who travelled 22,000 miles a year delivering parcels, lost his DHL job as a result of the incident.
Lewis Kennedy, defence advocate, said: “He was distraught at the time of the accident but resilient enough to perform CPR under the guidance of the emergency 999 call handler and did so for 20 minutes before the emergency services arrived.
“It was his failure to react which has led to him driving in a manner below what would be expected of a competent driver but this was momentary inattention. He is acutely aware of the sentencing power of the court but I would ask the court to consider that in sentencing it doesn’t mean that he must lose his liberty as well as his livelihood.”
Sheriff Gallacher said: “Clearly Mrs Moffat lost her life that day and that has impacted on her family in a large and wide-ranging way. Nothing I can do can undo what happened that particular day.
Readmore : DEAL OF THE DAY: Shoppers can save extra £10 off Pandora Christmas charms with deal
“It is inescapable that it was your vehicle that you were driving with a lack of adequate care whereby she lost her life. You were showing a lack of care by driving a vehicle which had blind spots which you were obligated to react to.”
Mrs Moffat, of Bearsden, is survived by three children, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A DHL spokesman said: “We would again like to offer our deepest sympathies to the family. The safety of the public is our priority and as such drivers contracted to our business are expected to adhere to the highest standards of safety and responsibility.”
Don’t miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond – Sign up to our daily newsletter here.