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Son 'feels no hatred' as driver who killed mother in crash after wedding jailed

Published 21/10/2016

Martin Colquhoun, the son of Mary Laurie, speaks to media outside the High Court in Glasgow
Martin Colquhoun, the son of Mary Laurie, speaks to media outside the High Court in Glasgow
Mary Laurie was killed when a speeding drink-driver crashed his car into the taxi she had just got into (Crown Office/PA Wire)

A man whose mother was killed on her way home from his wedding by a speeding drink-driver has said he feels "no hatred" towards the motorist.

Martin Colquhoun said his family are "happy" with the sentence after Steven Bennie, 21, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Mr Colquhoun's mother Mary Laurie, also known as Marie, was travelling home from the wedding celebrations in November last year when the taxi she and her husband had just got into was hit by Bennie's car while it was being chased by police in Glasgow.

The 57-year-old, from the Easterhouse area of Glasgow, lost consciousness minutes after being thrown through a window of the cab in the collision at the junction of Edinburgh Road and Springboig Road.

Speaking outside the High Court in Glasgow, where Bennie was sentenced on Friday, Mr Colquhoun said: "We got what we expected. It's never enough compared to what we lost but we got enough for us to be happy today."

Surrounded by family members, he reflected on how the wedding celebrations turned to tragedy within the space of a few hours.

He said: "It was obviously one of the happiest days of my life, getting married, seeing all my family happy, and for that to turn so quickly, it was probably one of the most poignant moments of my life really, to see that happen.

"I'll never forget those two days, you always remember your wedding day, it's one of the highlights of your life, and then to lose your mother the next day in such tragic circumstances is going to be tough, it's tough for the whole family."

Asked about his feelings towards Bennie, he added: "He's not in my thoughts. He's just a boy that had a bad experience and he has caused a death.

"Let's hope he can manage to get over the fact that he has killed somebody. I've no hatred, I don't want to be filled with anger."

Bennie, of Pettigrew Street, Glasgow, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at a hearing last month, and also admitted driving while over the legal alcohol limit and driving without the right licence and insurance.

He was disqualified from driving for 10 years and was also sentenced to eight months for drink-driving and disqualified for one year, with the terms to run concurrently.

Sentencing Bennie, judge Lord Boyd said: "On the 29th of November last year, Mary Laurie was returning home with her husband from what must've been one of the happiest days of her life, her son's wedding.

"In an instant that life was gone and a family who had just been celebrating were left to mourn that loss.

"It's difficult to imagine a more serious level of dangerous driving than you displayed. "

During the earlier hearing, the court was told Bennie reached speeds of up to 80mph in a 30mph zone in an effort to shake off the police pursuit.

Police had become suspicious of the Vauxhall Astra he was driving when he stopped to eat takeaway ice-cream at Springhill industrial estate with a friend in the early hours of Sunday November 29.

Bennie, who was 20 at the time, declared ''F***, I've not got a licence'' when he saw the police van approach and he drove off, with officers in pursuit.

Meanwhile, Mrs Laurie - carrying a bouquet of flowers from the wedding in Ayrshire - hailed a taxi at about 1.30am for the last leg of her journey home.

Just as the taxi turned on to Edinburgh Road, Bennie's vehicle came across the junction through a red light and collided with the side of the taxi.

Mrs Laurie was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where she was pronounced dead as a result of head and chest injuries.

Her husband James suffered seven rib fractures and a laceration to his liver, while Bennie's passenger was taken to A&E after being trapped in the crash.

Defence counsel John McElroy said his client is filled with remorse.

He said: "Clearly as a result of lamentable choices, the accused on November 29 caused and accepts causing the untimely and tragic death of Mrs Mary Laurie and very serious injuries sustained by Mr James Laurie.

"It is clear that he has inflicted a catastrophic loss on the Laurie family and nothing he can do or say will ever bring comfort to those family members present here today.

"He is, however, full of remorse for the devastation he has caused and will have to live with the tragic consequences of his decisions for the rest of his life."

Press Association

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