Driver banned for causing death of island minister

An elderly driver has been banned for causing the death of a Church of Scotland Minister after he hit him twice with his car at Edinburgh’s Waverley station.

Kelman Edwards, 78, of Priestfield Road, Edinburgh, had pled guilty previously at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to causing the death by careless driving of 76-year old Rev Thomas Sinclair, on May 19th, 2014.

He has been also been placed on a Restriction of Liberty Order, after sentence was deferred until today (Tuesday) for background reports.

Rev Sinclair was Minister of Martin’s Memorial Church in Stornoway for many years and was still actively involved with the Church of Scotland at the time of his tragic death.

Edwards had been dropping his daughter off at Waverley Station, but found the down ramp to the station blocked by a newly installed security barrier. As he reversed up to Waverley Bridge, which was busy with pedestrians, he pressed the accelerator pedal instead of the brake. His automatic Vauxhall Astra sped across the road, hitting Rev Sinclair, who had been attending The General Assembly of The Church of Scotland. The car then hit a stationary Airlink bus on the opposite side of the road. As he drove forward, his car hit the minister again.

Witnesses had dialled 999, and paramedics, police and Fire Service were quickly on the scene, but the minister had suffered a number of life-threatening injuries.

Taking all the circumstances in account, Edwards’ lack of any previous convictions, his good character, and that he had declared his intention never to drive again, Sheriff Crowe placed him on a Restriction of Liberty Order, confining him to his residence between 9pm and 6am for six months, disqualified him from driving for four years and to re-sit a full driving test.