Car valeter ran over colleague causing him severe brain damage

Stewart Thornton reversed his car from a car wash bay at speed while the man was stood behind him.

Car valeter Stewart Thornton ran over colleague at Taggart Land Rover causing him severe brain damage SNS Group

A vehicle valeter caused a colleague to suffer severe brain damage after running him over.

Stewart Thornton, 40, struck the man at Taggart Land Rover in Thornliebank, East Renfrewshire, on May 21 2021.

Thornton, of Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, reversed his car from a car wash bay at speed while the man was stood behind him.

The victim fell to the ground and struck his head before he was taken to hospital for his “severe” injury.

Thornton, who was contracted by a third party company, was found guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Jurors were read an agreed joint minute of evidence at the start of the three-day trial.

Prosecutor Sean Docherty said: “There was a road traffic incident involving Stewart Thornton and [the victim].

“At the time, Thornton was driving a grey Land Rover Evoque and [the man] was a pedestrian.

“There was a collision between the rear of the Land Rover and [the man].

“[The victim] was admitted to hospital at 11.20am due to the serious injury sustained during the incident.

“He presented with a severe traumatic brain injury, he was in a coma and underwent emergency surgery.”

 The victim did not give evidence at the trial.

The court heard from defence advocate David Nicolson who told the jury in his speech that his client was doing the victim “a favour” before the collision.

He said: “Mr Thornton had his car ready to be washed but [the victim] had a pressing need to get his car washed as a client was coming to collect it.

“Mr Thornton got out of the wash bay and he was criticised for assuming [the man] went back into his car ready to go in the wash bay.”

Jurors were told that that Thornton reversed down a ramp for 2.47 seconds when the impact happened.

Thornton later told police: “I was driving, I don’t know what happened, he wanted in to wash his car and I reversed out.

“I feel sick.”

He stated he did not look over his left shoulder and did not see the man.

Sheriff Tom Hughes said after Thornton was convicted: “Obviously, the case is very serious which led to catastrophic consequences – I don’t need to tell you that.”

Sentence was deferred pending background reports until next month and Thornton was granted bail meantime.

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