A newly qualified driver convicted of killing a 15-year-old girl by careless driving has been banned from the road for four years.
Kieran Kennedy, 21, from Chapelton in South Lanarkshire, had only been driving for a few weeks when the crash happened as Megan Scott crossed at Kingsway, East Kilbride, at 5.46pm on October 18, 2017.
The force of the impact flung Megan into the air and she died shortly after.
At the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday judge Lord Armstrong told Kennedy: “It was a single careless manoeuvre involving momentary inattention.
“You have accepted responsibility. You now have a high court conviction against your name. I am not going to impose a custodial sentence. You should count yourself fortunate.”
Lord Armstrong ordered Kennedy to carry out 300 hours unpaid work in the community. He also banned him from driving for four years.
Kennedy was originally charged with causing Megan’s death by dangerous driving – but was convicted of the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving.
Kennedy, who was driving his black Volkswagen Sirocco, on the outside lane of the Kingsway, East Kilbride, struck Megan Scott one second after the traffic lights changed from amber to red.
His car smashed into Megan, who was on her phone and wearing headphones, as she crossed at the pedestrian crossing.
The jury was shown video footage which showed Kennedy only braking after the traffic lights had turned to red. But they also heard that Megan had started crossing before the green light for pedestrians came on.
The force of the impact threw her onto the bonnet of Kennedy’s car and into the air. She landed close to a stationary bus.
In evidence, Kennedy admitted he was to blame for the crash. The jury heard that he had offered at an early stage to plead guilty to causing death by careless driving.
Kennedy, who had only passed his driving test weeks before the collision, told the jury that the first thing he noticed was Megan’s mobile phone at the bottom left hand corner of his car windscreen.
The next thing he remembered was hitting Megan and seeing her lying on the road fatally injured
Former rail track maintenance worker Kennedy, who has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and depression, told the jury: “I’ve thought about that day every day. It’s the only thing I think about.”
The court was told that Kennedy has not driven since May 2018.
Mr Scullion said: “Do you accept the traffic light was red when you drove through it and do you accept you caused the death of Megan Scott,” and Kennedy replied: “Yes.”
Kennedy was asked how he felt about Megan’s death and he said: “I never knew her but I just think about her every single day and how sorry I am.
“I just want to say sorry to her family. I know they’ll never forgive me, but I just want to say sorry to them. I’ll never stop being sorry.”
Motorist Karen Hurton, who was on the inside lane stationary behind the crossing, said: “The girl began to cross the road. She was on her phone.”
Mrs Hutton claimed the lights were at red and added: “She was thrown in the air forwards. She hit a bus and dropped to the ground.”
“I saw the car as the girl passed me. It came up the outside lane and hit her.”
Defence QC John Scullion said: “As a result of the collision he suffers from anxiety depression and post-traumatic stress disorder..
“At the time he was an inexperience driver. He struggles with regret and remorse for Megan Scott’s death. Her death will live with him for the rest of his life.”
Megan’s family, who were in court, declined to comment.