Driver 'made no attempt' to avoid teenager after McDonalds row

Court: Heard that Mr Sutherland might never fully recover.
Court: Heard that Mr Sutherland might never fully recover.© STV

A driver who left a teenager with severe brain damage after hitting him outside a fast food restaurant faces jail.

William Knight "made no attempt to avoid" Scott Sutherland when he slammed his car into him outside McDonalds in Springburn, Glasgow, in March 2011.

The 18-year-old victim suffered severe brain damage and it is unknown if he will ever make a full recovery.

Knight, 58, admitted assaulting Mr Sutherland to the danger of his life when he appeared at the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday.

He had originally faced an allegation of attempted murder before his guilty plea to the reduced charge was accepted by prosecutors.

The court heard how Mr Sutherland had been at the restaurant with two friends in the early hours of March 27 2011.

Knight, of the Possilpark area of Glasgow, was in his Audi in the drive through area after picking up his 29 year-old son Scott and his partner.

Mr Sutherland was at the food collection window when Knight drove forward forcing him to move. Knight's son got out the car and words were exchanged between him and Mr Sutherland.

Mr Sutherland and his friends ran off before the sound of a car engine could be heard "revving up".


Shanti Maguire, prosecuting, told the court: "William Knight turned his car and drove his vehicle towards his son.

"When Sutherland crossed his path, he made no attempt to avoid him and struck him with his vehicle."

The victim rolled from Knight's car and smacked his head on the road. Knight then collected his son and drove off.

Mr Sutherland was rushed to hospital where he had significant bleeding and bruising to his brain. A large part of his skull had to be removed and he remained in hospital for a number of weeks.

The teenager is still undergoing rehabilitation and continues to suffer a host of difficulties, including mobility and balance problems.

The court was told it remains unclear if he will make a full recovery as it can take several years.

Ex-scaffolder Knight handed himself into police the same day as the incident and denied what he did was "deliberate" and that he fled because he "panicked".

Ms Maguire said: "He stated he had been kept waiting at the drive-through at McDonalds for 25 minutes.

"He was unable to attribute blame to the victim and his friends as he was unsure if it was the staff who were causing the delay."

Judge Lord Woolman deferred sentencing until March for reports and continued bail for Knight until then.

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