Drunk driver gets 11 years for death crash

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A MAN high on drugs and drink drove into an 11-year-old girl at 80mph and sped off with her body on the front of his stolen car, a court was told yesterday.

The family of Alison Scanlon, who died instantly, wept as John Gallacher, 24, was jailed for 11 years. The High Court in Glasgow was told that Gallacher had tried to pin the blame on his friend Thomas Rossini, 23. Rossini, from Blackhill, Glasgow, who was given immunity from prosecution, had claimed in evidence that he had stolen the car and killed Alison.

Gallacher, of Provanhill Street, Royston Hill, Glasgow, was convicted of culpable homicide, car theft, reckless driving while under the influence of drink and drugs, police assault, refusing breath tests and possessing a knife.

The judge, Lord Weir, who also banned Gallacher from driving for 10 years, told him: 'You drove with total irresponsibility at high speed and under the influence of drugs, and gave this poor child no chance to avoid you.'

The court was told that Gallacher stole the car in Dennistoun, Glasgow, on 20 May. Within minutes police were on his tail.

He turned into a street where Alison, of Whitehill Gardens, Dennistoun, was crossing the road near a pedestrian crossing. He struck her and carried her for nearly 50 yards before her lifeless body fell to the road, the court was told.

He then continued at high speed towards Royston, but other police on patrol noticed the car, followed it and stopped him.

A police surgeon told the court that Gallacher showed signs of being under the influence of a drug like temazepam, a sleeping pill, when examined.

Gallacher denied stealing the car. He said that Rossini told him he had dumped a stolen car and he went to get the radio cassette from it. He was driving it to a quiet spot to search the car and remove the cassette when police followed and arrested him.