Lorry driver told girlfriend ‘I’m going to park in your living room’ before ramming her home

·3-min read
Derek Wellington destroyed his girlfriend's house after ramming a lorry into it - Daily Record/Mirrorpix
Derek Wellington destroyed his girlfriend's house after ramming a lorry into it - Daily Record/Mirrorpix

A truck driver rammed an HGV into his girlfriend's house after threatening "I am going to park my lorry in your living room".

Derek Wellington, 34, has been jailed for 10 years after reversing his truck twice into Sara Cassidy’s home in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire.

Glasgow’s High Court heard how on Sept 8, 2020, Wellington flew into a drunken rage when his partner refused to meet him. He then screamed down the phone: “I am going to park my lorry in your living room," the court heard.

Out of concern for the two children in her home, Ms Cassidy, 33, agreed to meet Wellington on a nearby street to try to calm him down.

Wellington, who had 24 previous convictions, including several for assault and threatening behaviour, had been on a bail order not to go near Ms Cassidy after attacking her in a hotel room.

Derek Wellington was jailed for ten years after ramming a lorry into his girlfriend's house - POLICE SCOTLAND/UNPIXS
Derek Wellington was jailed for ten years after ramming a lorry into his girlfriend's house - POLICE SCOTLAND/UNPIXS

Ms Cassidy became panicked when she saw Wellington driving past and ran back to her house “in terror”, the court heard.

Wellington then repeatedly reversed his HGV “at speed” into her house, causing sounds "like an earthquake" and wrecking the home.

Ms Cassidy "became hysterical" when she found her housing association home had "caved in”, losing £25,000 worth of property inside.

Seven other homes on the street were evacuated later that evening.

Both Ms Cassidy’s and her neighbour’s house suffered such catastrophic damage they had to be demolished.

Wellington's girlfriend lost £25,000 worth of property inside the home - Daily Record/Mirrorpix
Wellington's girlfriend lost £25,000 worth of property inside the home - Daily Record/Mirrorpix

Clyde Valley Housing Association ended up with a bill totalling £475,000 due to damage and loss of rental income.

A friend who had been inside at the time told the court he saw Wellington pull up, straighten his lorry and then reverse "at speed" into the property.

Wellington repeated the manoeuvre before driving away.

The friend raced to grab the two children and took them outside. All three were unharmed.

Police arrived to find a scene of destruction, with a number of residents out on the street.

Ms Cassidy was on the phone to Wellington while speaking with one officer who overheard the trucker threaten he was “coming back to finish it”.

Derek Wellington's dented truck was found abandoned in a supermarket car park the next morning with his wallet inside - Daily Record/Mirrorpix
Derek Wellington's dented truck was found abandoned in a supermarket car park the next morning with his wallet inside - Daily Record/Mirrorpix

"I told you I was going to ram it into your house,” he was quoted as saying.

The dented truck was found abandoned in a supermarket car park the next morning with Wellington's wallet inside. He was later arrested.

Wellington, of Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, appeared by video link for sentencing at the High Court in Stirling on Wednesday.

He had previously pleaded guilty at the High Court in Glasgow in July to a string of charges including culpable and reckless endangerment of lives.

Lord Armstrong said that "taking into account the grave consequences" of Wellington's criminal actions, the number of people affected, the impact on their lives, and the financial loss, he was satisfied there was no appropriate alternative to a custodial sentence.

A housing association ended up with a bill totalling £475,000 due to damage and loss of rental income - Daily Record/Mirrorpix
A housing association ended up with a bill totalling £475,000 due to damage and loss of rental income - Daily Record/Mirrorpix

Wellington also pleaded guilty to assault after headbutting Ms Cassidy at a hotel in Edinburgh, breaching bail, assaulting a police officer by spitting, and statutory breach of peace.

Solicitor-advocate Iain Paterson, defending, said Wellington was "remorseful" and had believed that there was no one in the house at the time.

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. “If he could turn back the clock he would,” he added.