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Driver who killed six in Glasgow admits dangerous driving



  • Harry Clarke, 60, was driver of bin lorry which killed six people in crash in 2014
  • He 'blacked out' at the wheel in Glasgow and lost control, hitting shoppers
  • Clarke today admitted reckless driving on a separate occasion nine months later 
  • He was driving dangerously in September 2015 despite licence being revoked

By Joseph Curtis For Mailonline

Published: 10:24 EST, 17 February 2017 | Updated: 11:01 EST, 17 February 2017

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Harry Clarke, pictured, who drove the bin lorry that killed six people in Glasgow in a crash in December 2014, has admitted reckless driving on a separate occasion nine months later

The driver of a bin lorry which crashed killing six people in 2014, has admitted culpable and reckless driving on a separate occasion nine months after the tragedy.

Harry Clarke, 60, appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court where he pleaded guilty to driving a car in the city on September 20, 2015 to the danger of the public, despite his licence having been revoked for medical reasons. 

It comes after a controversial Crown Office decision not to prosecute Mr Clarke, who had blacked out behind the wheel on the day of the fatal crash in December 2014.

Six people died when the truck went out of control in Queen Street and hit last-minute shoppers and festive revellers. 

In December, relatives of three people who lost their lives in the Glasgow bin lorry crash were told they cannot bring a private prosecution against driver Harry Clarke.

Their case for Clarke to face a trial was rejected by senior judges at the Appeal Court in Edinburgh.

The tragedy in Scotland, pictured, happened after Clarke 'blacked out at the wheel'

It was brought by relatives of crash victims Jack and Lorraine Sweeney, aged 68 and 69, and their granddaughter Erin McQuade, 18.

Stephenie Tait, 29, Jacqueline Morton, 51, and Gillian Ewing, 52, also died in the collision, which happened after Mr Clarke blacked out behind the wheel in the city centre on December 22, 2014. 

Lorraine Sweeney,  69, left and granddaughter Erin McQuade, 18, right, were killed in the Glasgow horror crash Lorraine Sweeney,  69, left and granddaughter Erin McQuade, 18, right, were killed in the Glasgow horror crash

Lorraine Sweeney, 69, left and granddaughter Erin McQuade, 18, right, were killed in the Glasgow horror crash

Jack Sweeney, Lorraine's husband and Erin's grandfather, was also killed in the crash Jack Sweeney, Lorraine's husband and Erin's grandfather, was also killed in the crash

Jack Sweeney, Lorraine's husband and Erin's grandfather, was also killed in the crash

Jacqueline Morton, pictured,  51, was also killed in the collision close to Christmas in 2014 Jacqueline Morton, pictured,  51, was also killed in the collision close to Christmas in 2014

Jacqueline Morton, pictured,  51, was also killed in the collision close to Christmas in 2014

Pictured: Gillian Ewing, 52, who was killed in the crash Pictured: Gillian Ewing, 52, who was killed in the crash
Pictured: Stephanie Tait, 29, who was killed in the crash Pictured: Stephanie Tait, 29, who was killed in the crash

Gillian Ewing, 52, left, and Stephanie Tait, 29, right, were also killed when Clarke lost control of his lorry

TIMELINE: ONGOING HEARTBREAK FOR DEVASTATED FAMILIES

December 22, 2014: Six people are killed and many others injured when a council bin lorry careers out of control on a busy Glasgow shopping street just days before Christmas.

February 25, 2015: The Crown Office announces no-one will be prosecuted over crash and confirms a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) will be held 'as soon as possible'.

July 22, 2015: FAI begins in front of Sheriff John Beckett at Glasgow Sheriff Court after a series of preliminary hearings set out the structure of the inquiry.

The scene in Glasgow's George Square after a bin lorry crashed into a group of pedestrians The scene in Glasgow's George Square after a bin lorry crashed into a group of pedestrians

The scene in Glasgow's George Square after a bin lorry crashed into a group of pedestrians

August 9, 2015: The prospect of a private prosecution is first raised by lawyers acting for the family of Jacqueline Morton.

August 20, 2015: Mr Clarke gives evidence to the FAI but refused to answer a number of questions about his medical history after he was warned by the Sheriff he did not have to give any responses that might incriminate him with the possibility of a private prosecution facing him.

August 28, 2015: The FAI is adjourned by Sheriff Beckett.

November 3, 2015: Mr Clarke tells BBC documentary he 'apologises unreservedly' for his role in the crash.

Glasgow bin lorry driver Mr Clarke (pictured) Glasgow bin lorry driver Mr Clarke (pictured)

Glasgow bin lorry driver Mr Clarke (pictured)

December 7, 2015: FAI determination said the crash might have been avoided if Mr Clarke had told the truth about his medical history. Sheriff Beckett found eight 'reasonable precautions' - all relating to Mr Clarke's medical past - whereby the accident might have been avoided and made recommendations which could reduce the chance of another such tragedy from happening.

December 7, 2015: The McQuade family announce their intention to pursue a private prosecution against Mr Clarke.

January 20, 2016: A Bill of Criminal Letters - required for a private prosecution - is sent to the Crown Office by lawyers for the McQuade family.

January 21, 2016: A second Bill of Letters is submitted by the families of students Mhairi Convy and Laura Stewart who died in similar circumstances in 2010 when William Payne passed out at the wheel of his Range Rover.

January 27, 2016: Papers lodged at court for a private prosecution in both cases after the Crown Office rejected them.

March 9, 2016: The Scottish Government announced the families are to be given legal aid in light of the 'unique and special circumstances' of the case.

March 22, 2016: The first procedural hearing on the prosecution bid begins in front of three senior judges.

October 26, 2016: Judges examining the private prosecution bid retire to consider their decision after a series of hearings throughout the year.

December 9, 2016: Judges decide to reject the bid for a private prosecution in both cases.

February 17, 2017: Clarke admits reckless driving in Glasgow in September 2015, despite having his licence revoked for medical reasons. 

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