Glasgow & West Scotland

'Kamikaze' killer driver Ian Milligan jailed for six years

Ian Milligan Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Ian Milligan drove onto the wrong side of the A702

A man who was found guilty of causing a "kamikaze-like" crash which killed his friend and badly injured five others has been jailed for six years.

Ian Milligan, 52, from Dumfries, caused the crash after driving onto the wrong side of the A702, near Abington, South Lanarkshire, on 8 July 2013.

His friend and passenger, Alistair Wells, 56, later died in hospital. Five people in the other car were injured.

Milligan was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving.

He was also banned from driving for eight years.

Hysterical scenes

Jailing Milligan at the High Court in Glasgow, judge Lord Matthews told him: "No sentence I can pass will in any way compensate Mr Wells' family for their loss."

Some members of Milligan's family broke down in tears when the judge handed down his sentence.

Milligan's trial heard that he and lifelong friend Mr Wells, also from Dumfries, were returning home from working on a building site in Edinburgh.

William Johnston and his family were also on the A702 as they headed back from a holiday in Wales.

Milligan ended up driving his Honda car on the opposite side of the road as he approached a bend, causing him to smash into Mr Johnston's oncoming Peugeot.

An air ambulance was called to the scene to help the casualties.

Mr Wells never recovered from his injuries and died the next day at Glasgow's Southern General Hospital.

Mr Johnston suffered a broken elbow, his wife Deborah had a serious neck injury while three other relatives were also hurt - including one who later needed emergency surgery.

'Suicidal' driving

Milligan - who also ended up in hospital - told the jury that he had no memory of the crash.

Prosecutor Tim Niven Smith put it to Milligan that being on the wrong side of the road that day was "kamikaze-like".

Mr Niven Smith went on: "This was suicidal...moronic to drive that way?" Milligan said: "Yes, moronic."

The advocate depute added: "You say that you cannot remember so cannot assist as to how you came to be on the other side of the road?" Milligan replied: "No."

Before he was sentenced, Milligan's lawyer George Gebbie told the court how his client and Mr Wells' brother had each been best men at their respective weddings.

Mr Gebbie added: "This is a case, on so many levels, a tragedy. What we have in this case is unusual levels of human catastrophe.

"Mr Milligan did not set out that day to cause anyone any harm."

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