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Court / Unpaid work for driver who caused tragic death of pedestrian

A DRIVER who caused the death of an 80-year pedestrian on the island of Whalsay one and a half years ago has been placed on a community payback order and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Allister Sandison died after being struck by Alexander Paton’s blue Toyota Yaris in the evening of 19 September 2019.

At Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday, the accident was described as a tragedy for the family of the deceased as well as for Paton and his family, who also live on Whalsay.

The court heard how the 56-year-old had pleaded guilty to a charge of causing death by careless driving at the earliest opportunity and had shown “genuine remorse” from the outset.

The pensioner was walking home the short distance between his grandson’s and his own home when Paton, of Vatshoull, Brough, failed to see him.

Defence solicitor Tommy Allan said his client accepts that he should have seen Sandison on the road and cannot explain why he did not.

There were no other factors involved such as speed or things that might have affected his attention, but some witnesses police had spoken to mentioned that Sandison had been wearing dark clothes and also commented on the ineffectiveness of the street lightning at that stretch of the road.

Sentencing Paton, Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said there were no aggravating factors that would have justified a jail sentence.

Paton was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.

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