Grieving son dragged from court after woman who killed his mother in car accident is spared jail

A grieving son was dragged shouting and screaming from a courtroom by police after the woman who killed his mother in a car accident was spared a jail sentence.

Sylvia Conkey crashed into elderly Margaret McKenzie as the pensioner made her way home from a shopping trip in Easthouses, Midlothian, last year.

The 80-year-old grandmother suffered catastrophic injuries and died at the scene after being struck by Conkey’s gold Suzuki Jimny.

Conkey, 58, admitted a charge of causing death by careless driving at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month and she returned to the dock on Friday for sentencing.

Sylvia Conkey crashed into elderly Margaret McKenzie as the pensioner made her way home from a shopping trip in Easthouses, Midlothian, last year.

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Sheriff Alistair Noble acknowledged the incident had a “severe impact” on Mrs McKenzie’s family but stopped short of jailing Conkey and handed out a community-based order instead.

But as the former post mistress left the dock Mrs McKenzie’s son ran from the public benches to confront the sheriff and shouted “200 hours for a death?”.

The man screamed: “My mother has been killed - how can you understand? My mother’s life is worth community service? You don’t understand.”

He was immediate tackled by a court police officer who grabbed him by the collar and he was pulled shouting and in tears from the courtroom.

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The man, who is believed to be in his 50s, was then ejected from the court building by several officers who ran from adjoining courts after hearing the commotion.

Family members of Mrs McKenzie refused to comment on the sentencing or the man’s behaviour when approached by a reporter outside the court.

In sentencing, Sheriff Noble said: “The death of Mrs McKenzie is tragic and not only did it bring her life to an end, it has had a devastating effect on her family.”

Conkey, from Easthouses, was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community and banned from driving for 16 months.

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She must also pass the extended driving test before she is allowed back behind the wheel.

Previously the court was told Mrs McKenzie had left her local shop and was crossing the road near to her home at Easthouses Road.

Fiscal depute John Adams said she had made her way to a traffic island in the middle of the road but as she crossed she was struck by Conkey’s car as it turned into the street from the B6482.

He added police officers who were passing pulled over to help the OAP who was said to be “conscious and breathing” as she lay injured in the middle of the road.

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But Mrs McKenzie died after suffering a cardiac arrest as paramedics attempted to give her lifesaving treatment following the accident at around 1.30pm on March 15 last year.

The distraught driver, who lives near to the accident scene with her partner, told witnesses: “I never saw her. She just walked out in front of me.”

On Friday solicitor Graeme Clark, defending, said Conkey has lost weight and been forced to give up work due to stress.

The lawyer added: “She isn’t coping with what she did.”

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Conkey pleaded guilty to causing the death of Margaret McKenzie by driving without due care and attention by striking her with a car causing her to be so severely injured she died at Easthouses Road, Dalkeith, on March 15 last year.

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