Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

David Nisbet jailed for Waterfront Avenue hit-and-run

High Court in Edinburgh
Image caption David Nisbet, 22, admitted knocking down Fiona Clason at the High Court in Edinburgh

An Edinburgh boy racer who killed a woman in a high-speed hit-and-run accident in the capital has been jailed for five years and eight months.

David Nisbet, 22, admitted knocking down Fiona Clason, 24, as he travelled up to 80mph along 30mph-limit Waterfront Avenue on 22 November 2009.

Judge Lady Smith told him he had ended a young life full of promise as a result of his stupid driving.

At the High Court in Edinburgh she said no sentence could bring her back.

The judge was told Miss Clason's family were devastated but five others had gained from her death as her organs had been donated.

The accident was not the first tragedy to hit Miss Clason's mother June Tiffney.

Her sister, Louise Tiffney, disappeared in 2002 and Louise's son, Sean Flynn, was later acquitted of her murder after a trial three years later.

Miss Clason was killed while walking to a bus stop at about 2000 GMT after visiting her mother in Granton.

Nisbet tried to overtake another car and his 2.3 litre Golf spun out of control into the path of a bus.

Bus driver James Brondum narrowly avoided a collision by swerving out of the way. Nisbet's car mounted a kerb and hit a lamp post.

But he re-gained control and sped away, hitting Ms Clason as she crossed Waterfront Avenue. She died from head injuries the following day.

Nisbet sped away and it was almost five hours before he went to police to report the accident.

Nisbet, admitted causing Miss Clason's death by driving dangerously, at excessive speed and with "utter disregard for the prevailing conditions."

Nisbet also admitted failing to stop, failing to report the accident and having no insurance.

First class honours

Witnesses told police that Nisbet's driving had been "scary" and like a boy racer, advocate depute Laura Thomson, prosecuting, told the High Court in Edinburgh.

The court heard that Miss Clason had graduated with first class honours in English literature from Dundee University and was about to start a teacher training course. She was also a musician.

Ms Thomson said both Miss Clason's mother and her father John Clason, were proud of their daughter's academic achievements and their health had suffered since their loss. A victim impact statement read to the court spoke of "a constant feeling of loss and sadness".

Lady Smith said Miss Clason was a talented and ambitious young woman.

"Her life was full of promise but was abruptly and quite unnecessarily cut short."

The judge said: "To say that your driving was stupid, selfish and irresponsible is a gross understatement."

Defence QC Mhairi Richards said the accident had had a profound effect on Nisbet and he found it difficult to deal with his own feelings of guilt and remorse.

Nisbet was disqualified from driving for 10 years and ordered to re-sit an extended driving test at the end of his ban.

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