Man admits causing death by dangerous driving

A man who knocked down and killed a father as he walked home from a party has admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

John Pottinger, known as Jamie, was described as “pretty drunk” before he got behind the wheel of his Volkswagen Golf on 15th June last year.

The 21-year-old stalled the vehicle eight times before an onlooker started and drove the car a short distance. Pottinger then got in the car and drove off with four passengers.

Shortly afterwards he drove on to a verge and hit 39-year-old George Armour on the B9074 in Burra.

Mr Armour, a husbandryman for Scottish Seafarms, was thrown over the bonnet. He died of severe head injuries the High Court in Glasgow was told.

Pottinger, from South Whiteness, pled guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

He had been at a disco at the Burra Hall, Hamnavoe, after a day of drinking and was described as “pretty drunk”. He went outside with his friend around 11.30pm and drank a can of lager from his boot.

The court heard Mr Armour, who was from Brae, had a partner and a nine-year-old son and two step sons.

Advocate depute Paul Brown, prosecuting, told the court: “The disco finished at around 1am and people from the hall made their way outside.

“Among those leaving the disco was the now deceased Mr Armour who had attended the disco with members of his family. Mr Armour’s party were invited to a friend’s house situated directly across from the Burra Hall.”

Pottinger decided to go to a party in Trondra and was persuaded to drive, agreeing to take four teenage friends with him.

Mr Brown added: “The accused was then seen by a witness to be sitting in the driver’s seat of his vehicle drinking and trying to start his car.

“He managed to moved the vehicle a short distance partially on to the road but stalled in the middle of the carriageway.

“He tried to restart the car and stalled around eight times.”

An onlooker drove the car a short distance for him before he got back in and made off in the direction of Scalloway.

It was clear to his passengers his driving was erratic and he drove off with “smoke billowing” and bouncing his car over speed bumps.

Two of his friends told him he was going too fast and yelled at him to slow down as he approached the brow of a hill immediately before the collision.

Mr Brown told the court: “The front seat passenger said that the vehicle at this point bumped up on the left hand verge and he could see a man, who was the now deceased Mr Armour, walking on that verge away from them.

“The car continued on the verge and struck Mr Armour who was thrown up and over the bonnet of the vehicle.”

Pottinger didn’t stop and continued down an embankment and into a field. It was only when one of his friends pulled the handbrake that the car stopped. All four passengers got out the car and ran back to Mr Armour. Pottinger drove off.

Emergency services were contacted and Pottinger was later traced by police, with the help of his friends.

When he gave breath specimens just after 4am he gave a reading of 89, twice the drink drive limit of 35. Under new legislation he would have been four times the drink drive limit.

Pathologists who carried out a post mortem on Mr Armour found he suffered a severe head injury which was not survivable. He also suffered chest injuries from the collision.

Sentence was deferred on Pottinger until next month.

Glasgow Court Press Agency


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