Law officer from Borders to head bin lorry probe

People who fund their lifestyles by the proceeds of crime are to be targeted in  a new intellegence gathering campaign launched today by Lothian and Borders Police. 'Made from Crime' is the first POCA (proceeds of Crime Act) initiative of its kind in Scotland. ' Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC,

People who fund their lifestyles by the proceeds of crime are to be targeted in a new intellegence gathering campaign launched today by Lothian and Borders Police. 'Made from Crime' is the first POCA (proceeds of Crime Act) initiative of its kind in Scotland. ' Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC,

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A former Borders procurator fiscal will lead the evidence at the court probe into the Glasgow bin lorry tragedy.

Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC is Scotland’s second most senior law officer, behind Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC.

Six people were killed and 10 injured when a council refuse vehicle crashed into pedestrians in the city centre on December 22.

A fatal accident inquiry before Sheriff Principal Craig Scott QC is due to start at Glasgow Sheriff Court on July 22.

Born and brought up in Glasgow, Ms Thomson held posts in procurator fiscal offices in Greenock, Paisley and Glasgow before her two-year appointment at Selkirk and Peebles in 2000.

In 2003, she was appointed to head up the Criminal Confiscation Unit and then the Financial Crime Unit.

Three years later, she took over as district procurator fiscal for Edinburgh and Haddington, becoming interim area procurator fiscal for Lothian and Borders in May 2007 and later fiscal for Glasgow and Strathkelvin. Ms Thomson became Solicitor General in 2011.

She has a home in the Borders and has been involved with Melrose Rugby Club, and was the first woman to be appointed to the board of Scottish Rugby.

A preliminary hearing has taken place at which the Crown said it was ready to go ahead.

But legal teams representing the families of those who died, Glasgow City Council, the DVLA and truck driver Harry Clarke said they might need more time to study reports and productions which will be presented to the inquiry.

The probe will focus on a number of key points.

Ms Thomson confirmed: “The issues fall into three categories which are, firstly, around the driver of the vehicle, his medical background, his fitness to hold the licence, his employment record and training.

“Secondly, the vehicle itself and the technical aspects, if there could have been any measures or interventions to have brought that vehicle to a controlled stop.

“And thirdly, the safety of the refuse collection route taken by the motor vehicle. In relation to that I would intend to explore not just the route, but the time of week and the time of year and assess the appropriateness of that route at that time of year.”

Some of those who died were out Christmas shopping.

The bin lorry went out of control in Queen Street and crashed into the Millennium Hotel at George Square, close to the Queen Street rail station.

Mr Clarke was injured and later told a national newspaper that he had fallen unconscious at the wheel of his lorry and that he could not remember anything about the crash.