Motorist guilty of causing death of man in New Year’s Day crash

David Gasper (pictured) died from injuries sustained in the crash on Murrayburn Road
David Gasper (pictured) died from injuries sustained in the crash on Murrayburn Road

A MOTORIST who was driving at 65mph in a 30mph zone caused the death of a Hungarian immigrant who came to Edinburgh for a “better life”.

Eric Finlayson,59, was behind the wheel of his Vauxhall Moka when it collided on New Year’s Day 2016 with a Ford Fusion being driven by EU national David Gaspar.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how in the moments before the collision, Mr Gaspar, was working as a takeaway driver and was being helped by his 13-year-old cousin Daniel Bada.

He had came to live in the capital in September 2015 and was living with relatives at a house in the Barn Park area.

The court heard how Mr Gaspar was driving in Sighthill and was turning right from the junction at the city’s Dumbryden Drive at 6.40pm.

READ MORE: Tributes to much loved son who died in crash
The court heard how as he emerged onto Murrayburn Road, Mr Gaspar should have seen Finlayson’s car approaching from his right.

However, Finlayson was driving at such a speed that Mr Gaspar didn’t have time to react. Finlayson’s vehicle struck Mr Gaspar’s car injuring his passenger.

The 20-year-old Hungarian sustained a serious head injury and medics at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary were forced to remove his spleen in a desperate attempt to save his life.

However, doctors were unable to save him and he died on January 11. His parents had travelled from Hungary to be at their son’s side.

On Friday, prosecution lawyer Iain McSporran QC told judge Lord Boyd that Mr Gaspar’s family allowed him to leave Hungary in an attempt to give him a better life.

He added: “David Gaspar’s parents Zoltne and Zsolt Gaspar along with his sisters Andrea and Kinga express their shock regarding hearing about David’s death.

“They state he was only 20-years-old at the time of his death. Prior to moving to the UK he had always stayed within the family home.

“They indicate they only let him move to the UK so that he could try to have a better life and felt he had better chances of this in Great Britain.”

The story emerged after Finlayson, of Dumbeg Park, pleaded guilty on Friday to causing Mr Gaspar’s death by dangerous driving.

Mr McSporran told the court that Mr Gaspar spent New Year’s Day delivering takeaway meals. His cousin Daniel was sitting in the passenger’s seat inputting post codes into a sat nav.

Defence advocate Mark Stewart QC said his client wished to apologise for his actions.

He added: “The accused is fully aware of the loss and suffering which he has inflicted upon the family of the deceased and he wishes to tender his fullest apologies to the court.

“He accepts his responsibility for the collision and it has always been his intention to plead guilty.

“He cannot necessarily explain the circumstances to how this collision came to happen.”

Lord Boyd deferred sentence for the court to obtain reports.

Finlayson will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on November 23.