Drink driver jailed for three years at Edinburgh Sheriff Court

A drunk joiner who sped away after knocking down a man on a zebra crossing in the Grassmarket has been jailed for almost three years.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 14th July 2016, 4:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th July 2016, 5:37 pm
Drink driver banned for five years. Picture; supplied
Drink driver banned for five years. Picture; supplied

Caoimhin McSherry, from Belfast, struck 57-year old Malcolm Robinson then drove over him as he lay on the ground.

McSherry, 22, pleaded guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to a string of charges – including dangerous driving, causing serious injury and being over the drink-drive limit.

He was also banned from the road for five years.

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The court heard he had been out with friends watching a Scotland v Ireland international rugby match on September 27.

Fiscal Depute Rosanna Chapman told Sheriff Norman McFadyen that McSherry and two colleagues had been working in Edinburgh while staying in the Travelodge at the airport.

At 7am on the day of the crash, McSherry drove the three of them into the city centre for work before they went a pub in Victoria Street after their shift at 2pm.

“They consumed a number of pints of beer,” said the Fiscal, adding that the men had discussed buying some food and getting a taxi back to the hotel, but McSherry said he would drive them home.

Ms Chapman said: “His colleagues told him that was not a good idea as he had been drinking.”

As the men were walking towards Waverley Bridge, the Fiscal said McSherry refused to get a taxi and told the others he would drive them to the hotel. “The others decided it was best to go with the accused,” she added.

About 9.50 pm, Mr Robinson, who had been in the Grassmarket also watching the rugby match, was making his way over a pedestrian crossing.

McSherry was approaching in his car and, said the Fiscal, one of his colleagues told him to “watch out”.

“The accused attempted to apply the brakes, but struck Mr Robinson, causing him to go up on the bonnet of the car and hit the right-hand side of the windscreen which cracked,” said Ms Chapman.

She continued: “Mr Robinson fell off the bonnet onto the ground and was lying unconscious. The accused accelerated his car and drove over Mr Robinson.”

Police found McSherry, who had let his friends out, at traffic lights around 3.20am the next morning. He told them: “I am not saying anything until I get a lawyer.”

Defence solicitor Ewan Roy told Sheriff McFadyen that his client’s actions had been “deplorable”.

Sheriff McFadyen described the events as “a shocking sequence of drink driving”.