Widow’s Hell after drunk driver killed husband

Jill Fulton is bringing up her daughters, Faye and Mia, on her own after husband Gavin was killed 18 months ago. Picture: Scott Taylor
Jill Fulton is bringing up her daughters, Faye and Mia, on her own after husband Gavin was killed 18 months ago. Picture: Scott Taylor
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The widow of a man killed by a drunk driver 18 months ago has told how she has just returned to work after struggling to cope with the loss of her “soulmate”.

Jill Fulton, 42, was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder in the wake of the tragedy that saw husband Gavin mowed down while walking home from a Christmas party in December 2012.

His killer, Keith McCardle, mounted the pavement on Dundas Street after consuming four alcoholic drinks and is now serving five years behind bars for causing death by dangerous driving.

Today, the mother-of-two spoke of bringing up her young children alone and appealed to motorists to avoid drinking alcohol this summer.

Mrs Fulton, from Bonnington, revealed that she had only recently returned to her job as a staff theatre nurse in the Western General Hospital after months of counselling.

She said: “I found it very hard to go back to work. But I’m not going to let McCardle get the better of me.

“Each day has its own hurdles. Time is a great healer for other people because they forget.

“Gavin was my soulmate. We were married for 25 years and we had two beautiful children.

“The last time I saw Gavin was when he was dead in the Royal Infirmary, and I had to identify him in the mortuary.

“If someone had taken the keys off McCardle we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

The pain of bringing up daughters Mia, 14, and 12-year-old Faye as a single parent had been eased with the help of a close network of family and friends.

Mrs Fulton said: “It does have huge family implications. Gavin’s mum and dad and sister are all grieving, as are my ­family.

“We are allowed to have our down days and we don’t feel guilty for having happy days when we talk about him.”

She said her daughters, who attend Drummond Community High and Broughton Primary, had been helped to cope with their grief with counselling.

She added: “My road to recovery is that I need to know that I’m doing the best for my girls. There is help out there but you have to be brave enough to ask for it.

“I’m not going to let one drunk driver ruin it for us. I’m hoping his conscience will get the better of him. I hope he feels as bad as we do.”

In an emotional appeal ahead of the launch of a summer drink-drive campaign, Mrs Fulton warned motorists that their actions would “destroy not just your own life, but so many others”.

She said: “In the summer time you have got barbecues, weddings, parties, golf, and especially with the World Cup just about to start there are all these drink promotions.

“I just wish people had more power over their own convictions. You’re just as guilty if you knowingly go into a car. Because McCardle made that decision, myself and my girls have been issued with a life sentence without Gavin.

“He will get out of prison and he will get his licence back. I feel that I’m being punished more for something through no fault of my own.”

Speaking at the Police Scotland campaign launch, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill pledged his determination to “make our roads safer and save lives”.

He said: “That’s why we will soon be lowering the drink-drive limit to 50mg of alcohol in every 100 ml of blood. This will bring Scotland into line with most of Europe and send a clear message to drivers who continue to ignore the warnings. There is never an excuse to drink and drive.”

Police said they would be conducting patrols all summer to try and reduce the number of motorists who drink or take drugs before driving.