Man who ran over pregnant mum-of-one who lost unborn baby jailed

Julie Welsh had both her legs amputated and requires round-the-clock care following the catastrophic crash.

Darren Morrison who struck pregnant mum who lost unborn baby and had legs amputated after crash jailed SNS Group

A man who ran over a pregnant woman who lost her unborn child has been jailed for two years.

Darren Morrison, 20, struck Julie Welsh, 40, in Glasgow’s Springburn on December 12 2020.

Ms Welsh had been walking across a road on a hill when Morrison’s Mercedes sped towards her.

The Farmfoods worker hit Morrison’s windscreen before landing on the road.

Ms Welsh required 24-hour specialist care having suffered a life changing brain injury.

Both of her legs were amputated, she is blind in one eye and she lost her unborn child.

Morrison claimed that he did not see Julie until a “split second” before the collision.

The first offender was found guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Sheriff Joan Kerr told him: “Julie Welsh was unable to participate in the trial but her family provided victim impact statements.

“They make it plain that life as she knew it as an active young mum is over.

“Her family and her young child have lost her to society.

“The only appropriate sentence to reflect the gravity of the offence and the harm caused by you is a custodial one.

“I can protect the public from you driving again by disqualifying you for eight years.”

Morrison will be required to sit and pass the extended test before he is able to apply for his licence again.

The sentencing was earlier told that Morrison had three penalty points on his licence for failing to comply with a traffic signal.

Jurors heard from Graham Robertson, 44, who witnessed Julie being struck by the car that was “going quite fast”.

He said: “I would say from where she crossed the road, she was one metre from the kerb on the other side of the road to complete her journey.

“She came off the left passenger side windscreen and she ended up further back on the road she was walking on impact.”

The support worker stated that he “froze” before going to Ms Welsh’s aid until emergency services arrived.

He said: “I thought she was dead. I heard rasping breaths, she was in a bad, bad way.

“Until the point I heard her making noises, she was lying in a distorted way…she was making choking noises.”

Experienced driver Patricia Callaghan, 55, claimed she heard the car “revving, not slowing, if anything getting quicker.”

Ms Callaghan heard a bang and a screech while dog walker Donna McClymont, 48, heard a pop.

Road traffic collision expert PC John O’Hara told jurors that Morrison had a “full view [of the road] of 40 metres, for three seconds.”

In her closing speech to the jury, prosecutor Jessica McGowan said: “I invite you to accept Morrison should have had sight of her on approach to the hill.”

The court heard that Morrison, his girlfriend and two other friends were heading back to his house after collecting food to watch boxing.

In his evidence, Morrison claimed: “I couldn’t have done anything differently.”

Ms McGowan said in her speech: “He can’t explain why he didn’t see Julie Welsh, a moving object, until she is in front of his car.

“He can’t be sure that the reason he didn’t see her was because he was distracted – the consequences were catastrophic for her.

“Morrison said it was a split second between seeing her and hitting her and in that split second Julie’s life as she knew it was taken away from her – her unborn baby was taken away from her.”

Ms Welsh suffered a traumatic head injury, a fractured top rib, a broken left arm, extensive lower leg and pelvic injuries.

There were also cuts and bruises to her face, cheeks and knuckles as well as a black eye.

She had to have temporary removal of bone from the skull to stop a brain bleed on December 12 and 14, 2020.

She also had surgery on her broken arm and pelvic bone.

Both of her legs were amputated below the knee.

Julie remains under 24-hour specialist care and has had a total of ten surgeries.

She has severe brain damage, is blind in one eye, has no awareness of her external surroundings and cannot communicate.

The mum-of-one requires medical assistance to breathe and is fed through a tube.

She requires a hoist into her specialist wheelchair but spends most of her time in bed and she has no independent mobility. 

Ms Welsh’s condition is unlikely to improve.

Ian Sievwright, defending, told the sentencing: “He asked me to express his contrition, his remorse and understanding of the harm that this tragic event has caused Julie Welsh and her extended family.

“Nothing I or my client can say will compensate for Julie Welsh’s situation or the harm and distress caused to the family.”

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