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Jail terms for death crash trio

18 March 08 16:17 GMT

Three young drivers have been jailed for a total of nearly 20 years for their part in a crash on the A75 near Dumfries in which three people died.

Graham Lynn, 21, and Stuart Logue, 19, were sentenced to 10 years and two months, and eight years, respectively, for causing death by dangerous driving.

Shaun Marshall, 18, was jailed for 13 months at the High Court in Glasgow on a reduced charge of dangerous driving.

The crash took place on a stretch of road called The Glen in November 2006.

Three young people died in the seven-vehicle pile-up.

They were Bethany Secker, 21, from Bristol, and teenage friends Mark Johnston and Luke Shearman from Dumfries.

Logue and Lynn, both from Dumfries, had previously pleaded guilty to causing the deaths by dangerous driving on 5 November 2006.

Marshall, who is also from the town, admitted a charge of dangerous driving.

The court heard that Marshall had passed his driving test the day before the accident, while Logue had passed five weeks earlier.

Lynn had regained his licence four days earlier after a period of disqualification for drink-driving.

Defence advocate Simon Gilbride, representing Logue, said he was filled with remorse for his actions and would never drive again.

He said his client wished to convey to the families of the victims how sorry he was.

Defence advocate Ranald Lindsey, representing Lynn, said his client accepted his responsibility and was also sorry for his actions.

He said: "He cannot begin to imagine how it must feel for those who have suffered as a consequence of his actions."

On sentencing, Judge Rita Rae QC told Logue and Lynn that the deaths in the crash had been "pointless and wholly avoidable".

"The use of a public road as a race track is senseless, irresponsible and extremely dangerous," she said.

"The grief you have caused to the family and friends of these young people is immeasurable.

"Cars are not toys, they are potentially lethal weapons," she added.

Mark Johnston's mother, Elaine, said she believed wider actions needed to be taken to avoid any repeat of such accidents.

'Too much heartache'

"We keep reading in the paper about these accidents that happen and nothing seems to change," she said.

She suggested speed or engine size restrictions and the automatic carrying of P plates.

However, she said she did not feel anger towards the young men who had caused the crash.

"I have just got too much heartache for losing him that I just can't spend the time being angry," she said.

She added that she would never forget the day her son lost his life.

"Mark's the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think of at night," she said.

"When I'm alone he is the only thing that is on my mind.

"I just can't get over that day he went out and never came home."

Bethany Secker's father, Ron, issued a statement through court officials.

"It is apparent that the individuals involved in this crime had a callous disregard for the value of human life and the rules by which a civilised society conducts itself," he said.

"The sentences handed out today go some way to reflect this, but nothing will bring back our beloved Beth.

"We have all been handed a life sentence, a sentence from which there is no remission for good behaviour or for showing remorse."

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