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Driver's guilty plea to teen girl's death


By SPP Reporter

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Laura Thomas.
Laura Thomas.

Laura Thomas.

A YOUNG Fraserburgh man pleaded guilty last week to causing the death of young Gamrie woman, Laura Thomas, in a high-speed crash last September.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that 21-year-old Ian Smith, of Shalom, Muir Road, Memsie, was twice the drink-drive limit when he lost control of his Renault Megane at an estimated 71mph to 81mph.

The vehicle swerved to the opposite carriageway and hit the Ford Ka being driven by 19-year-old Laura.

She died instantly in the crash on the A981 New Deer-Fraserburgh road, near Memsie, early on September 5.

Her car was thrown into the air and onto a nearby verge, the court heard. A passing doctor stopped but was unable to help Laura, who had severe head injuries.

Laura’s passengers, Kirsty Hendry, Jordan Deisz and John Hendry, were also injured in the collision and suffered broken bones.

It was later revealed that hairdresser Laura, a former Banff Academy pupil, had gone to collect her friends from a night out.

Smith, unconscious in his car when found by police, was not injured.

He had been drinking with friends in his parents’ house when he decided to give a pal a lift to a local disco.

His defence advocate Shahid Latif told the court: "He recognises that there is little that can be said to ease the pain of the family of Miss Thomas.

"However, he has pleaded guilty to this charge as quickly as procedures would allow."

Lord Bracadale deferred sentence until next month.

Afterwards, Laura’s mum, Sherri (42), of Gamrie, told how her daughter’s death had destroyed her.

"It is not natural process in life for a mum to bury her child," she said. "It has ended my world.

"Laura had everything to live for, she was bubbly and outgoing. She was very popular and would speak to everyone, but we’ve been robbed of that. She was kind and would help anyone.

"Ian Smith deserves what he gets because it was his irresponsible and selfish actions that took Laura away from us."

Laura’s dad Adrian said: "She will be missed every day. It’ll never get easier, it’ll just get controllable. Whatever sentence he gets will never be enough."

Last week, ‘The Banffshire Journal’ revealed that the family’s grief had been made worse by Laura’s graveside at Gamrie Churchyard being trashed repeatedly by a dog.

Aberdeenshire Council said it had spoken to pet owners in the area.



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