A trucker who repeatedly rammed his lorry into his girlfriend’s living room in a drunken rage while her two children were at home was today jailed for ten years.
Derek Wellington, told his then-partner, Sara Cassidy, 33: ‘I’m going to park my lorry in your living room’ before ‘sounds like an earthquake‘ were heard as he drove into her property in East Kilbridge, Lanarkshire, about 12 miles south of Glasgow.
Wellington, from Ayrshire, had been dating the mother-of-two since earlier in 2021 before the incident on September 6 that year.
The 34-year-old was jailed today for ten years after 24 previous convictions, including several for assault and threatening behaviour.
Derek Wellington, left, told Sara Cassidy, right: ‘I’m going to park my lorry in your living room’ before he drove into her property in Lanarkshire
Ms Cassidy’s house (pictured) suffered £425,000 worth of damage and had to be demolished. A neighbouring property was also destroyed and a total of seven homes were evacuated
The lorry driver was on a bail order not to go near Ms Cassidy after he headbutted and pinned her against a wall in an Edinburgh hotel a month earlier, leaving her needing hospital treatment.
He flew into a drunken rage after she refused to meet him and screamed down the phone, threatening to drive into her house, the High Court in Stirling heard.
Wellington rang Ms Cassidy multiple times begging her to see him, shouting, swearing and calling her obscene names, according to prosecutor Lisa Gillespie.
Ms Cassidy said he was not allowed to visit under any circumstances because the children were at home but agreed to meet him on a street nearby when he said he was coming round anyway.
She spotted him in his truck at around 11pm and ran back to her house, terrified, where she heard a loud banging noise and windows smashing.
Wellington repeatedly reversed his truck into her living room, causing £425,000 worth of damage, and then threatened to return to finish the job.
Ms Cassidy broke down in hysterics when she saw her home completely ‘caved in’ and a pile of rubble as its remains.
An Eddie Stobart lorry was later found in a supermarket car park and cordoned off by police
The neighbouring house was also completely destroyed and a total of seven properties had to be evacuated.
Miss Cassidy’s two children, 14 and 11, and a friend who were inside at the time escaped unhurt.
Neighbour Allan Reddick, 37, helped rescue the children seconds before the house collapsed, using a ladder to help them out through an upstairs window.
He said they were ‘really shaken up’.
The truck was left abandoned in a supermarket car park the next day with Wellington’s wallet still inside and he was later arrested.
Wellington appeared by video link for his court sentence and pleaded guilty to the charges, which included culpable and reckless endangerment of lives, earlier this month.
He also pleaded guilty to assaulting Miss Cassidy in the Edinburgh incident, breaching bail, assaulting a police officer by spitting, and statutory breach of peace.
Solicitor-advocate Iain Paterson, defending, said Wellington was ‘remorseful’ and had genuinely believed that there was no-one in the house at the time.
He added: ‘If he could turn back the clock he would’ as Ms Cassidy sat emotionless on the benches during the hearing.
He said Wellington had been an HGV driver ‘for a decade or so’ and the incident might mean he could never return to the profession.
Judge Lord Armstrong said his actions meant Ms Cassidy lost the home she had lived in for five years and its £25,000 contents.
Clyde Valley Housing Association ended up with a bill totalling £475,000 due to damage and loss of rental income.