Driver guilty of killing pal in horror crash

Billy Casement, pictured with his wife Laura and children Emma and Lucy, was a front-seat passenger when Darren Luke crashed his Subaru Impreza. Picture: Contributed
Billy Casement, pictured with his wife Laura and children Emma and Lucy, was a front-seat passenger when Darren Luke crashed his Subaru Impreza. Picture: Contributed
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A DANGEROUS driver who killed a friend in a horror crash has been told to expect a lengthy prison sentence.

Darren Luke, 30, smashed his powerful Subaru Impreza into two cars – killing his front-seat passenger Billy Casement.

Yesterday Luke, who has a previous conviction for speeding, wept in the dock as he was told to expect a jail sentence for causing the death of his friend.

Luke, of Kirk Street, Edinburgh, had pleaded not guilty to a charge of causing death by dangerous driving, but the High Court in Edinburgh heard he had been speeding at 74mph in a 40mph zone minutes 
before the fatal incident.

Mr Casement, 30, a father of two, died at the scene of the sickening March 2012 smash on Maybury Road.

Witnesses told how the speeding Subaru ploughed into a Renault Clio being driven by Brian Hutton.

Mr Hutton, of South Queensferry, remembers his wife’s piercing screams before the sickening collision.

He told the trial he was on his way with wife Gillian to enjoy a film at the Odeon Cinema in Wester Hailes.

He said: “There was this almighty thud. The airbags deployed and the car was full of smoke.”

The impact was so great it “sheared” off one of the Clio’s rear wheels.

Luke’s vehicle then struck a van being driven by off-shore worker Frank Ballantyne, who suffered a shoulder injury.

Mr Ballantyne, 48, of East Kilbride, said: “I thought I was dead.”

Following a three-day trial a jury took just three hours to come back with a guilty verdict.

Judge Lord Brodie warned that the sentence was likely to be “a custodial one”.

It also emerged that Luke had been convicted of drugs offences at Edinburgh District Court in 2007, and had been fined £500 and banned from driving for six months for speeding in 2003. Speaking in March last year to the Evening News, Mr Casement’s wife Laura, mother to his two young daughters, Emma, then two, and Lucy, 
ten months at the time of her 
father’s death, said: “My girls are going to grow up without their dad and I’m a widow at 29.

“My little Lucy keeps repeating that her dad is ‘up in the sky’.

“He worked so hard, all he wanted to do was provide for his family. We were inseparable, we loved each other so much. I’ll never know that comfort ever again. I have to hope to meet him again some day.”

Mr Casement, who worked at Dunedin Canmore Housing Association as a handyman, also leaves behind his parents John and Julie, his brother Johnny, and his sister Lee.

His family were unavailable for comment last night.

The killer driver will be sentenced next month.

jen.lavery@edinburghnews.com