Speeding driver ploughed into nurse in £40 car bought on web

Jill Pirrie. Picture: contributed

Jill Pirrie. Picture: contributed

A TEENAGER cried in court as he admitted killing a “much-loved” nurse who was mown down as she walked home from work.

Dylan Jenkin, 18, was driving the Ford Ka – bought online for just £40 – which struck and killed mother-of-one Jill Pirrie, 33, in Old Dalkeith Road on May 12.

In a desperate bid to avoid justice, Jenkin lied to police, telling them the brakes had failed – a claim dismissed by experts.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Ms Pirrie was walking home to Ravenswood Avenue after finishing her shift at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary when she was hit from behind.

Jenkin – who only held a provisional driving licence – had earlier failed to stop for police officers who learned the car was uninsured.

The court heard how she was thrown against a wall, causing her to suffer fractured ribs and severe chest and head injuries.

She was rushed to the ERI, where staff battled to save their colleague’s life. Unfortunately, medics couldn’t do anything to help and she died the same evening.

Meanwhile, Jenkin ran off from the scene and didn’t give himself up for another day.

The teenager, whose address was given as the Polmont Young Offenders Institute, later turned up to the hospital for treatment and confessed that he was responsible for taking Ms Pirrie’s life.

Prosecution lawyer Alex Prentice QC said: “On the morning of Saturday, May 14, while the accused was being treated, he was asked if he knew why the police were present.

“He indicated that it was because of the crash and admitted involvement. He broke down, started crying and repeatedly said ‘I didn’t mean to kill her’.

“He acknowledged that the police had been behind him when he was driving the car. He maintained that the brakes had failed. He started crying again and continually said he was sorry.

“Road traffic collision investigators examined the vehicle and found no defects which would have caused or contributed to the collision.”

The story emerged yesterday after Jenkin pleaded guilty to causing death by driving dangerously and other traffic offences before judge Lord McEwan. The judge had been told that Ms Pirrie’s family was grieving over the loss of a loved one.

Jenkin wept loudly as Mr Prentice told the court about the circumstances surrounding the incident. Jenkin’s solicitor got up from her seat in the court to hand her weeping 
client a hanky.

Mr Prentice told the court: “She was a much-loved mother, daughter and partner who leaves behind her five-year-old son, Matthew, who is now in the full-time custody of his father.”

Mr Prentice told the court that Jenkin and a friend had bought the car for £40 from a man who advertised it on Gumtree, an internet sales site.

During the afternoon of May 12, Jenkin drove the car around Edinburgh with a number of passengers.

Around 7.45pm that night, two police officers saw him driving the car in Milton Road.

Mr Prentice said the Ka was “in a state of disrepair” and officers checked the Police National Computer because they were suspicious about the vehicle. After discovering that the vehicle wasn’t insured and that the DVLA had been notified that it was off-road, the officers asked for assistance. A traffic police car then responded and ordered Jenkin to stop the car on the A7.

Mr Prentice said: “The accused failed to stop the vehicle and accelerated away from the police. The police officers informed the control room that the vehicle had failed to stop and was now being pursued.

“The accused continued to accelerate northwards on the A7. He continued at a grossly excessive speed towards Danderhall at the junction with Newton Church Road and passed a witness standing at a bus stop.

“She remarked on the high speed of the Ford Ka, which continued travelling towards Old Dalkeith Road.

“Another witness was travelling southwards on Old Dalkeith Road having passed the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh when he observed the silver Ford Ka being driven towards him on the other side of the road.

“He considered that the car was travelling at a grossly excessive speed when he saw the vehicle heading towards the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh then overtaking other vehicles before he lost sight of it.

“A witness who was walking her dogs on Old Dalkeith Road, at Little France Road, heard the loud sound of a car engine and saw the silver Ford Ka 
travelling towards her. She took evasive action by running back to the pavement.

“Jill Pirrie was returning home from the Royal Infirmary having completed her shift that day. She normally walks to her home which was just over a mile away.

“The accused drove the Ford Ka on Old Dalkeith Road dangerously by driving at a grossly excessive speed. He attempted to turn left on to Kingston Avenue. However, he failed to negotiate the turn and lost control of the vehicle. The car skidded across the junction.

“The car then struck Jill Pirrie from behind, throwing her against the wall on the north side of the pavement and colliding with a roadside signpost and the wall there before coming to rest.

“Jill Pirrie was thrown to the left side of the car and fell on to the north pavement where she lay seriously injured. The pedestrian witnesses went to her aid.”

Mr Prentice told the court that Jenkin and a passenger left the vehicle at that point and ran away.

Meanwhile, paramedics arrived and detected Ms Pirrie was in cardiac arrest and had injuries to the right side of her chest, right leg and pelvic area.

Police discovered that Jenkin was the driver of the car and made several attempts to find him. But on 5pm on May 13, Jenkin turned up at the hospital for treatment in the company of his solicitor. He later confessed whilst receiving treatment from Jill’s colleagues for a cracked rib and bruising.

Lord McEwan deferred sentence until next month.