Glasgow & West Scotland

Archie Dickson admits Mark Sanders hit-and-run death

A college lecturer has admitted killing a 30-year-old man in a hit-and-run incident in West Dunbartonshire.

Archie Dickson, 54, drove into Mark Sanders in Clydebank on 16 June 2012 before fleeing in his Mercedes. The restaurant manager died at the scene.

The High Court in Glasgow heard Dickson was driving on the wrong side of the road due to "fatigue and alcohol".

He contacted police after hearing of Mr Sanders' death. He was remanded in custody after sentence was deferred.

The former Stow College lecturer admitted to a charge of causing death by dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene.

The court heard how Mr Sanders had been returning home from a night out with friend Gordon Wilson in the early hours of morning when he was killed.

Mr Sanders was walking on the road due to how narrow the pavement was.

No warning

The pair were chatting about a forthcoming holiday when Mr Wilson suddenly saw his friend fly into the air and land on the pavement in Milton Douglas Road, Clydebank.

Prosecutor Iain McSporran said there was no warning that a vehicle was coming and Dickson had driven on the wrong side of the road.

The court heard that after the collision, Dickson stopped his Mercedes nearby and a stunned Mr Wilson yelled at him to call an ambulance.

The lecturer drove off and later claimed he did not hear the shout.

A taxi driver tried to help Mr Sanders, who was badly hurt, but the 30-year-old died at the scene after suffering a serious head injury.

Later that day, Dickson visited a bistro in the city's Hyndland area where he met another regular customer, John McHugh.

Mr McHugh had just been told by his son that Mr Sanders had died in a hit-and-run.

Mr McHugh knew the family well having employed Mr Sanders' mother for 25 years. His brother was also Mr Sanders' godfather.

Admission to police

The court heard Mr McHugh explained to Dickson that he was devastated as a family friend had been killed in a car accident in Clydebank.

Mr McSporran said: "He spoke about how he had known the dead man, but Dickson seemed not to engage and just looked away. He then went elsewhere in the bar."

The prosecutor added that this conversation may have prompted Dickson to hand himself in.

He stopped police a short time later and confessed: "I think I have killed somebody. I knocked a guy down last night in Duntocher. I think I killed him."

Dickson took the officers to his Mercedes which was in nearby Partickhill Road.

It was found to have a smashed windscreen and other collision damage.

Dickson, from the city's Knightswood area, was later detained and told police he had not been able to sleep prior to the accident and had gone out driving to "wind down and get tired".

He claimed to remember a "thump in the car" and that his wing mirror was pushed in.

Mr McSporran told the court: "He went on to say that he believed he had fallen asleep and that the thump of the collision had jarred him awake."

Pub visit

Dickson said he got out and saw a man standing 50 feet away. He told police nothing was said between them and he drove off.

He said the next day he could not work out how his car had been damaged until he had the conversation with Mr McHugh.

The court was told Dickson had spent the day of the accident in London on business before flying back to Glasgow that night.

Police discovered CCTV footage of him visiting the Oran Mor venue in Glasgow's west-end on his return and downing three pints of what appeared to be lager.

He was seen leaving 45 minutes before the collision.

Mr McSporran said Dickson's driving was dangerous due to a combination of "fatigue and alcohol" and the fact he was "completely on the wrong side of the road" at the time.

Dickson had consumed alcohol although the amount was not known as he had driven off from the scene.

Dickson's counsel Thomas Ross said the lecturer was "truly sorry" for what happened.

Judge Lady Scott deferred sentencing for reports and remanded him in custody.

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