One, Two, Free

25 September 2013

The appeal against Gary McCourt’s lenient sentence has been denied.

In 1985, Gary McCourt killed George Dalgity when he drove into him, throwing him across the road. McCourt received a two year prison sentence, but “is thought to have only served about eight months“.

In 2011, less than a mile from the scene of Dalgity’s death, McCourt drove into Audrey Fyfe, knocking her from her bicycle and causing her to sustain fatal head injuries. McCourt received 300 hours’ unpaid work and a five year disqualification from driving.

The appeal against this lenient sentencing failed today.

Of McCourt’s disqualification, Lord Menzies wrote: “We are unable to agree with the Solicitor General’s submission that this is inadequate to provide sufficient protection to the public. For these reasons this appeal must be refused.

A man killed, and killed again. Yet removing him from the road for just five years is considered by judges to “provide sufficient protection to the public“.


It’s just that it quite clearly didn’t, or wouldn’t have, provided sufficient protection to Audrey Fyfe.

She’s dead.

McCourt killed her.

The law did not protect her.

But the judiciary’s opinion is that such a state of affairs is “adequate”.

Fuck this shit. It is not adequate. For someone who kills in multiple incidents to be permitted to drive is not fucking adequate.

The judiciary refuses to accept the idea that killing two people in two separate incidents is sufficient proof of being unsuitable to control a motor vehicle – which is, demonstrably, a machine capable of causing death. They will not err on the side of “sufficient protection”, but instead promulgate the attitude that driving is a not only somehow a human right, but one which is more important than the safety of any non-driver on, or alongside, the road.

And it is for precisely this reason that more people like Audrey Fife and George Dalgity will die.

How simple can this be, for fuck’s sake? Just get killers off the road. They can travel by other means; it won’t ruin their lives.

Let’s talk about punitive sentencing later, but let’s get one fucking simple thing straight: people should not be dying on the roads, most especially at the hands of convicted killers whom the law allows to kill again.

Other people are dead, and I’m fucking angry about that.

What’s more, judges are – by choice – putting my life at risk. And I’m really fucking angry about that.

This whole thing is insane.

Fuck this shit. It has to change.


  1. smokingcyclist 25 September 2013 1:25pm #

    At least Mrs Fyfe has been exonerated of any blame for her death, small mercies.

    ‘On sentencing, the sheriff had said that Mrs Fyfe’s failure to wear a helmet may have contributed to her death.

    However, appeal court judges considered the sheriff was wrong to “regard this as a matter of judicial knowledge”.

  2. Aworkey 26 September 2013 11:41am #

    Against the backdrop of the nicewaycode, it makes me even angrier.

  3. platinum 26 September 2013 2:38pm #

    Just written to my MSP to ask precisely how many people a driver has to kill before they’ll be considered a bad driver…

  4. Phil Lee 4 October 2013 6:31pm #

    The judge in the original case should be charged under the human rights act for failing to protect Audrey Fyle’s right to life. He had the power to impose a life ban, but chose not to.
    In failing to do so he breached Audrey’s must basic and fundamental human right.

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