South Scotland

Driver jailed over fatal Borders crash has licence bid granted

A driver jailed following a crash which claimed the life of a young rugby player has had his bid to get his driving licence back early granted.

Murray McAllan and Sean Goodfellow were both jailed for four and a half years and given 12-year driving bans in 2010.

They had admitted causing the death of Richard Wilkinson, 17, on the A698 in the Borders by dangerous driving.

McAllan has been granted an application which allows him to start the process of attempting to regain his licence.

Kenneth Maciver QC told him that he had had to pay a price following the offence and served a period in custody.

The judge said he had since been of good behaviour but continued to feel the effect of the sentence because of the disqualification.

'Serious matter'

He told McAllan at the High Court in Edinburgh: "I take the view that having served about six and a half years of the disqualification period the public have been adequately and properly protected as a result of the original sentence."

The judge said he would allow McAllan's application which would entitle him to begin the process of regaining a licence after sitting the extended test.

He said he remembered the case very well and added: "It was obviously a very significant and serious matter."

"A young man died. He died after a car chase, a very high speed car chase in which you played your part," he said.

The judge said: "As I recall you were in the first car in the chase and the young man died in the car which was following at high speed."

The judge said: "I noted that it was rare for this court to have to sentence persons of such good character and that was a feature of the case, that you and the other young man had not displayed any anti-social behaviour nor had any convictions of any type when you came before me in 2010."

'Complete folly'

Solicitor advocate Philip Templeton said that McAllan was seen as reliable in his duties by his employer and that his inability to drive did impact on his ability to carry out certain tasks.

He said the service engineer, from Jedburgh, had not committed any further offence.

Mr Wilkinson, who had been playing in a rugby sevens tournament in April 2009, was the front seat passenger in a Peugeot GTI driven by Goodfellow.

McAllan was driving a Mitsubishi Colt and overtook him and another car and Goodfellow responded by passing that vehicle.

Approaching a bend McAllan braked heavily but kept his car on the road, however Goodfellow's vehicle left the road.

Mr Maciver told the drivers at the time of sentencing: "To drive at speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour on such a road is complete folly."

"To do so while engaging in a contest of speed, effectively a road race with another vehicle is indescribably stupid and dangerous," he said.

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