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Rangers bus driver guilty of killing fan in horror crash

The bus had 37 passengers on board Photo: ITV Border

A speeding bus driver has been convicted of killing a Rangers fan in a horror crash.

49-year-old Callum Phillips was driving at speeds of up to 73mph shortly before the collision which killed 39-year-old Ryan Baird.

The bus, which had 37 passengers on board from the Nith Valley Rangers supporters' club on board aged from six to 60, was described as 'like a roller coaster' as it entered Crossroads Roundabout on the A76 near Kilmarnock around 1pm on 1 October 2016.

It smashed into a lamp post and then skidded along on its side before coming to a halt.

One passenger Heather Geddes, 25, who was on the bus as a birthday treat, described Phillips as' 'flying down the road with his foot to the floor.”

Mr Baird , from Sanquhar, died trapped in the wreckage, Graeme Slider, 30, from Dumfries-shire suffered a fractured pelvis, John Campbell, 69, needed skin grafts on his arms and John Torrance suffered fractured ribs and internal bleeding.

As the verdict of guilty to causing the death of Mr Baird by dangerous driving was read out at the High Court in Glasgow Phillips showed no emotion.

39-year-old Ryan Baird Credit: ITV Border

Judge Lady Stacey ordered background reports and continued his bail, but told Phillips: “Do not get your hopes up about the sentence.”

She deferred sentence until next month at the High Court in Glasgow.

Prosecutor Richard Goddard told the court that Phillips has previous convictions including one in 2015 for speeding for which he was fined £200 and given penalty points. He also has a conviction from 2005 for not wearing a seat belt.

The court heard that after the fatal crash he was off work for two months and left the company he had been working for - Brownriggs.

Phillips then got another job as driving when asked what it involved he replied: “Coach driving, just schools.”

Passengers on the bus told the court that Phillips driving was 'erratic and fast” and said he drove even faster after having to double back at Cumnock to pick up two people.

Lady Stacey placed an interim ban on Phillips, who has been a bus driver for 27 years, driving.

Members of Mr Baird's family including his partner Sarah Hughes were too upset to comment as they left court.

Phillips made no comment as he left the court building.

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