M9 crash report given to Lord Advocate

Lamara Bell
Lamara Bell

A report into the deaths of a Falkirk couple following a crash on the M9 has been given to Scotland’s most senior prosecutor.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) carried out the inquiry after Lamara Bell (25) was found critically ill three days after the car she was in crashed off the motorway in July. Her partner John Yuill (28) was driving and is thought to have died on impact.

John Yuill

John Yuill

The investigation took place after it was revealed a witness called police to report the incident and the call wasn’t logged, leading to a wider inquiry by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland over call handling by police.

This report made a series of recommendations to Police Scotland.

PIRC’s interim report has now landed on the desk of Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland.

A spokesman for the PIRC said: “The Commissioner has submitted an interim report to the Lord Advocate on her independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of John Yuill, 28, and Lamara Bell, 25, following the recovery of a car close to the motorway at Bannockburn on July 8, 2015.

“The Lord Advocate will now consider the interim report and the Commissioner will undertake further enquiries as required.”

The Chief Constable of Police Scotland at the time of the incident Sir Stephen House said he would be stepping down from his post at the end of this year following the controversy over the crash.

His replacement was announced today by the Scottish Police Authority as Phil Gormley QPM and was welcomed by Justice Secretary and Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson.

He said: “I am pleased to approve the Scottish Police Authority’s appointment of Phil Gormley QPM as the new Chief Constable of Police Scotland.

“Mr Gormley brings with him a wealth of experience in policing communities across the UK, including an extensive background in counter-terrorism, and has previously held high-profile roles as Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary and Deputy Director General of the National Crime Agency.

“While Police Scotland has faced challenges, the fundamentals of policing in Scotland remain sound and I am confident that, under Phil’s leadership, the organisation will continue to develop positively in the months and years ahead.

“I look forward to working with Mr Gormley when he takes up his post early next year.”