Families seek private prosecution against Glasgow bin lorry crash driver

court gavel

The inquiry into Glasgow bin lorry crash could be halted after the families of two of the victims said they intend to seek a private prosecution against the driver.

The fatal accident inquiry (FAI) has heard the driver, Harry Clarke, lied to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) about his health.

But prosecutors in Scotland had already ruled out any criminal charges against the driver, or his employer Glasgow City Council, in February, after deciding there was no evidence that either was to blame for the crash.

Last week, the DVLA also announced Clarke will not face any legal action, after it was alleged he hadn’t disclosed health issues relating to his large goods vehicle (LGV) licence.

Jacqueline Morton's family have now asked for an adjournment so they can begin action against Clarke.

The move is being backed by relatives of Gillian Ewing. Both women were among the six people who died in the crash on December 22, last year.

A decision on whether the inquiry will be halted will be made on Thursday.

Prosecutions in Scotland are normally brought by the Lord Advocate, who heads the Crown Office.  Private prosecutions are extremely unusual, with only two in the 20th Century.

To bring one, an individual must apply to the High Court for a Bill of Criminal Letters, which can be opposed by the Lord Advocate - and the alleged offender.

If the court grants the application, they have 21 days to lodge answers, after which a hearing is fixed for a later date to decide whether the prosecution can proceed.

At each stage there is the possibility of an appeal, which makes the process extremely costly as legal aid would not be available for an individual bringing a case.

Read this week’s Fleet News for more on how the inquiry has highlighted failures in the driving licence health declaration.

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