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Speeding driver caused death of friend on way to work

Martin Cameron lost control of his car causing the death of passenger Shaun Allan.

Victim: Shaun Allan
Victim: Shaun Allan Spindrift

A motorist who hit 125mph shortly before his dangerous driving caused a friend's death has been jailed.

Martin Cameron, 25, was heading to work with Shaun Allan when he lost control of his bright orange Ford Focus near Inverness in May 2018.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Cameron was travelling at nearly twice the speed limit in the moments before he lost control of the vehicle.

He had been previously banned from the roads on three different occasions over a five-year period.

Cameron got his licence back around two months before the incident.

Witnesses saw the Focus smashing through a fence before hurtling through the air and crashing into some trees.

Mr Allan, 26, of Inverness, died from injuries in the collision shortly afterwards. He left behind a partner and a young daughter.

Judge Lord Kinclaven on Wednesday told Cameron he had no other option but to jail him for four years and eight months.

Conviction: Martin Allen was convicted at Edinburgh High Court
Conviction: Martin Allen was convicted at Edinburgh High Court

He had earlier been told the accused was genuinely sorry for his actions.

Passing sentence, Lord Kinclaven said: "Your actions on the day of the offence have caused you to destroy people's lives.

"I have taken into account everything that has been said on your behalf. I take into account the impact that the collision has had on your own life and the impact that it has had on your own young family.

"I take into account that you have expressed genuine remorse and insight into your actions.

"However, the impact that your offending has had pales into insignificance with what is being borne by the family of the deceased. I have read victim impact statements from the deceased's family which tell me of the burning pain that they have to endure.

"There is no sentence that this court can impose which can make things right for the family of Mr Allan.

"You have pleaded guilty to extremely serious road traffic offences. You have previous convictions for motoring offences. I also recognise that you have no pending case.

"However, there is no alternative to custody - there is no other appropriate way of dealing with you."

Cameron, of Kiltarlity, Inverness-shire, pleaded guilty last month at the High Court in Glasgow to a charge of causing death by dangerous driving on May 9 last year.

Sentence had been deferred to the High Court in Edinburgh for Lord Kinclaven to obtain reports about Cameron's character.

At earlier proceedings, prosecution lawyer Allan Nicol told how Cameron got his licence in 2011.

He had been previously convicted of dangerous driving. His most recent ban was in 2016 and he back on the road in February last year after passing his driving test.

Both Cameron and Mr Allan worked for the same construction company.

Another person had been due to collect them on the morning of the collision.

But when this individual failed to show, Cameron decided to take his Ford Focus.

'There is no sentence that this court can impose which can make things right for the family of Mr Allan'
Lord Kinclaven

As he went to collect Mr Allan, he was recorded going at more than double the 60mph speed limit.

Mr Nicol said: "He had driven.. at an average speed of 125mph. CCTV existed of the vehicle passing about 20 minutes before the incident."

After picking up Mr Allan, Cameron drove on the rural B851 towards their site in Farr, just south of Inverness.

Witnesses saw the car "flying past" at "quite a speed".

He is thought to have been going between 60 to 70mph in a 40mph zone.

One man living nearby soon heard a "very large noise" as Cameron's car spun out of control.

The Ford smashed through the fence of a a house, hurtled through the air before crashing into trees.

Mr Allan died shortly afterwards and police arrested Cameron.

On Wednesday, defence advocate Geoff Forbes told Lord Kinclaven that his client had a good work record.

Mr Forbes said his client's employers intended to take him back on upon his release from prison.

Mr Forbes added: "He has a full future in front of him and he intends to use his time constructively.

"He also appreciates that Mr Allan cannot have the same opportunities and does not have a future.

"Consequently, he accepts that he will be punished. He. Accepts that that there is only one sentence available to your lordship and that is custody."

Lord Kinclaven also banned Cameron from driving for a period of six years and eight months.

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