Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Driver Callum Brown admits causing death of 'best friend'

kirkcaldy fatal crash
Image caption Brian Phimister was a passenger in the BMW

A teenager has admitted causing the death of his "best friend" by dangerous driving in Fife.

Callum Brown, from Kirkcaldy, was 18 when he crashed, causing the death of Brian Phimister, 16, on the Coaltown of Wemyss to Dysart Road on 5 June 2015.

Police investigators calculated he was doing at least 58 mph in a 40 mph speed limit, the High Court in Edinburgh heard.

Brown, who had a previous conviction for speeding, lost control on a bend.

Detectives concluded he must have been driving too fast after experts studied tyre marks left on the road.

The court heard how a paramedic who came to the scene found the car lying on its side and "folded around the tree."

'Best friend'

Prosecution lawyer Jane Farquharson said Brown, who is now aged 20, was "good friends" with Mr Phimister. They saw each other on a "daily basis".

The court heard how they spent most evenings driving around the local area.

Ms Farquharson said: "From the marks on the road and the damage profile seen on the car, the accused Mr Brown approached the bend in the road at excessive speed.

"Whilst trying to take the shortest possible route around the inside of the bend, he lost control of his vehicle which caused the car to yaw.

"This in turn caused his car to travel off the road and strike the tree."

As Brown was being taken to hospital for treatment, he spoke to a paramedic.

"On his way to the hospital, the accused Mr Brown spoke of the accident to a paramedic," Ms Farquharson said.

"In respect of his manoeuvre around the bend, he volunteered information that whilst he normally dropped down to the third gear for that corner, because he was tired he didn't and he could just remember skidding."

Defence solicitor advocate Gordon Martin said his client and his deceased were "best friends" and that he expressed remorse for what happened.

Mr Martin added: "Mr Brown appreciates that his expression of remorse will be of no comfort to the friends and family of Mr Phimister.

"It should be noted the deceased and Mr Brown were best friends."

Mr Martin said that because his client had never served a prison sentence, the court was legally obliged to obtain reports about Mr Brown's character.

The lawyer said he would deliver his plea of mitigation when the court obtained these reports.

The judge deferred sentence on Brown to 22 November 2016. He will be sentenced at the High Court in Paisley.

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