Edinburgh motorist spared jail following fatal incident with pedestrian

A motorist who failed to see a pedestrian crossing the road before he fatally collided with the victim was spared a jail sentence on Friday.

Saturday, 22nd May 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Saturday, 22nd May 2021, 8:15 am

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John Mulholland, 60, was driving with his granddaughter in the rear seat when his vehicle struck Robert Hunter as he went to buy a newspaper before planning to watch the final weekend of the Six Nations rugby tournament.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that the results of Mulholland's momentary inattention were "catastrophic".

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A judge told him that he had been "for a long period of time a valued member of the community" who had never previously served a sentence of imprisonment.

Lord Weir imposed a community payback order on Mulholland as an alternative to custody and ordered him to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.

He was also placed on supervision for 18 months and banned from driving for 32 months with a condition that he sit a test before driving again.

Mulholland, of Broom Walk Livingston, in West Lothian, earlier admitted causing the death of Mr Hunter by driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for others using the road.

Edinburgh High Court

He failed to see Mr Hunter and give way to the pedestrian at Almond West Road in the Craigshill area of Livingston on March 16 in 2019.

Mr Hunter, 70, suffered head and chest injuries in the collision and died after being taken to hospital following the crash.

Mulholland, a care worker, had turned right at a junction onto Almond West Road and struck Mr Hunter and fell onto the bonnet of his Ford Galaxy.

Advocate depute Leanne Cross said: "The accused immediately stopped upon impact, but this caused the deceased to fall from the car onto the roadway."

Mr Hunter, a father of two, was found to have sustained a skull fracture and broken ribs and a bleed on the brain.

The prosecutor said: "On the morning of Saturday March 16 2019 the deceased Robert Hunter had enjoyed a leisurely morning at home with his wife."

"It had been his intention to watch the final weekend of the Six Nations rugby tournament," she said. Mr Hunter had left his home to walk to a service station to buy a paper and cigarettes when the tragedy occurred.

Ms Cross said a collision investigation confirmed that Mulholland would and should have had a sufficient view of Mr Hunter through his windscreen on his approach to the junction and through the driver's window to his offside.

Defence counsel Barry Smith QC said: "The accident and its consequences have had, and will continue to have, a profound effect on Mr Mulholland."

"He is very well aware of the tragic consequences of his driving on this occasion and accepts full responsibility for it," he said.

Mr Smith said Mulholland, a grandfather of 14, was genuinely remorseful and has "agonised" over the fatal collision.

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