Woman cleared of killing cyclist after jury returns not proven verdict

Jordan McDowall, 21, was accused of driving onto an opposing carriageway and colliding with Kevin Gilchrist, 51.

Woman cleared of killing cyclist after jury returns not proven verdict georgeclerk via IStock
Court: Jordan McDowall was cleared after a trial.

A young woman broke down in tears as she was cleared of killing a cyclist.

On Monday, jurors returned a not proven verdict against Jordan McDowall following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

The 21-year-old was alleged to have caused the death of Kevin Gilchrist by dangerous driving following a collision on Greenock Road, Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, on July 28, 2018.

The charge included claims McDowall was not paying attention while behind the wheel of her Ford Fiesta, went onto the opposite side of the road and hit the 51-year-old cyclist.

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McDowall – who had only been driving for seven weeks at the time – told the court how she had “no recollection” of the incident and that there was a “gap” in her memory.

After being cleared of the charge, Lord Armstrong told her: “As you have heard, the jury has acquitted you. You are free to leave the dock.”

A sobbing McDowall was hugged by another young woman as she left the courtroom.

Members of Mr Gilchrist’s family were also in tears following the verdict.

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McDowall, of Erskine, Renfrewshire, had stated during the trial that she was a “confident” driver.

Prosecutor Paul Kearney QC put to McDowall: “Is it not the case you were fully conscious but for whatever reason not paying attention to the road ahead?”

McDowall said: “No.”

She added that the last thing she remembered was turning at a roundabout.

McDowall denied a suggestion she was seen on her phone after getting out of her car following the collision.

Mr Kearney said: “If the witness is right, it means you were conscious enough and alert enough to be using your phone straight after an episode of loss of consciousness and memory.”

McDowall responded: “I don’t know what happened.”

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She had earlier told her own QC, Brian McConnachie, that she did not know how the crash happened.

Jurors heard how married dad Mr Gilchrist died as a result of “serious injuries to the chest”.