Driver knocked over two girls after mounting pavement in Morningside

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A man knocked over two teenagers after driving at high speed through Edinburgh and mounting a pavement.

28-year old Ryan McNair, who was high on drugs at the time, struck the two 17-year-old girls in Morningside, leaving them with serious injuries.

McNair, a prisoner at Edinburgh, then set fire to the van in an attempt to destroy the evidence.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court today McNair pled guilty to charges of dangerous driving, failing to stop after the accident on October 14 last year.

Sheriff Alison Stirling jailed him for 40 months and banned him from driving for ten years.

She told him he had caused the girls serious physical injuries which would have a life-changing effect on his victims. “Both these young women could have been set for a happy and carefree future” she said.

She pointed out that McNair had a bad record of driving offences, including drink driving, and recent conviction for possession of diamorphine and ecstacy.

Fiscal Depute, Kim Schofield, told Sheriff Stirling that on October 13, the day before the accident, McNair told friends he had taken heroin and cocaine. At around 11pm on the 14th, Ms Schofield said that three 17-year old girls were walking down the pavement in Cluny Gardens when the van, being driven by McNair, mounted the pavement and struck two of them. It was driving at excessive speed.

One of the girls was struck by the front bumper, which said the Fiscal: “caused her to fly through the air”. A second girl was hit, but the van drove off. The third girl dialled 999. While the police and ambulance crew were on the scene, a taxi-driver stopped and told them there was a van on fire in Midmar Drive.

It was found to have the front offside tyre deflated, the wing mirror damaged and the windscreen smashed.

Ms Schofield told the court that the most seriously injured girl had required operations at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and St Johns Hospital in Livingston for injuries to her right leg and foot. She was left with long-term impairment, suffered from flashbacks of the crash and would be permanently scarred. The second victim, she said, would suffer ongoing pain years.

Defence solicitor, David Storrie, said that prior to the accident, McNair had taken valium tablets. The other drugs, he said, had been taken the previous day. He had been released from a previous sentence in August 2017, and was working as a labourer/driver for his cousin. An eight-year relationship with his partner had ended just prior to the offence and he had been thrown out of the house. Mr Storrie said McNair “went on a downward spiral”. All his clothing and personal possessions had been in the van and he had been “driving aimlessly through the streets”.