Glasgow & West Scotland

Ian Milne sentenced over Joseph McCarthy hit-and-run incident

Joseph McCarthy
Image caption Mr McCarthy was known locally as "Joe the Busker"

An uninsured driver who claimed his car had been stolen after a fatal hit-and-run incident has been ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service.

Ian Milne, 54, from Bridge of Weir, reported the bogus theft one hour after his car struck Joseph McCarthy in Houston, Renfrewshire, on 9 January.

The 46-year-old busker died in hospital two days later.

Milne admitted failing to report the incident, attempting to pervert the course of justice and careless driving.

He was also fined £400, disqualified from driving for three years and ordered to re-sit his test.

Milne was originally charged with causing Mr McCarthy's death by driving carelessly but the Crown accepted his not guilty plea.

A previous hearing at Paisley Sheriff Court was told that on the morning of 9 January several motorists had called police to express concerns that a male had been seen staggering about on the road.

Milne's car struck Mr McCarthy, who was known locally as "Joe the Busker", in Houston Road.

A witness then saw the vehicle pull up and do a U-turn, stop again and complete a second U-turn before being driven away.

Epileptic fits

The collision happened just after 06:00, but by 07:00 Milne had called police to report that his car had been stolen from outside his home.

Meanwhile, Mr McCarthy was rushed to the intensive care unit at Paisley's Royal Alexandra Hospital, where his life support machine was turned off two days later.

Depute fiscal John Miller said Mr McCarthy suffered from epileptic fits and stressed that he had not taken any alcohol prior to the incident.

The court was told that Milne's car, which showed signs of accident damage, was recovered by police about 08:00 in the grounds of Houston Primary School.

Two hours later, Milne handed himself in to local police and confessed to being the driver involved.

He told officers that the pedestrian had stepped out in front of him and he "could not do anything about it".

Sentencing Milne, Sheriff Colin Pettigrew told him that he would have faced a custodial sentence if he had not handed himself in before police managed to track him down.

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