Leader comment: Shock and revulsion over Jill Pirrie crash death

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A sense of shock and revulsion has swept across the Capital in the wake of the tragic death of Jill Pirrie.

The 33-year-old was a loving mum, daughter, partner and friend. She was also a nurse, which meant that she had spent her last day caring for others, looking after patients recovering from surgery at the Royal Infirmary. Colleagues have paid tribute to a “talented, respected and well-liked” member of the hospital’s staff.

As she walked home she was knocked down and killed on the pavement by a car whose driver failed to stop when ordered to do so by the police. It seems extraordinarily cruel that a dedicated and loving young woman like her should die in such terrible circumstances.

Our thoughts, like those of many across the city and beyond, are with her family as they try to come to terms with this terrible tragedy and to care for her young son as best they can.

We don’t know yet the full circumstances as the police investigation is ongoing, but the driver is believed to have been just 14 years old and driving a car which may have been stolen. If that is true, we will never know who was responsible – unless the driver ends up in court as an adult years from now – because the Scottish justice system treats offenders under the age of 16 differently from adult criminals. We can only hope that the police who were quickly able to detain four youths are able to complete their investigation, identify the guilty parties and they are dealt with appropriately by the authorities.

The role of the police will inevitably be questioned as they were pursuing the car involved when it crashed. It is only right that the actions of the force are thoroughly examined to ensure that everything was done by the book. There will however be great sympathy for the officers involved who were out doing their job, trying to stop someone who had broken the law.