Driver who killed Falkirk war hero gets seven years

John Morton (below) was killed by a drunk driver as he crossed Grahams Road, Falkirk
John Morton (below) was killed by a drunk driver as he crossed Grahams Road, Falkirk
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A trip to buy a Sunday newspaper ended in tragedy when Korean war veteran John Morton was knocked down and killed.

Yesterday the car driver, Shaun McManus (31), was jailed for seven years and disqualified for 10 years. He was also told that he couldn’t drive again until he passed an extended test.

John Morton (left), 78, died in a fatal RTA in Grahams Road on Sunday November 18th 2012.

John Morton (left), 78, died in a fatal RTA in Grahams Road on Sunday November 18th 2012.

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Turnbull told the shamed driver: “In the middle of the day, in the middle of a town, in a busy street you drove while four times over the limit.”

The judge pointed out that the ground worker had driven in a bus lane. He didn’t hold a valid licence or have insurance.

He added that McManus, Croftside Court, Grangemouth, had a previous conviction for failing to provide a breath specimen which led to a two-year ban in 2008.

The judge said: “In the aftermath of the collision with Mr Morton you left the scene and failed to identify yourself to the authorities. In these circumstances, it is obvious this is a most serious offence of its kind.”

McManus previously admitted causing the death of Mr Morton by dangerous driving in Grahams Road, Falkirk, on November 18 last year.

He left the scene and when later traced by police was heard to say “I’m pissed”.

The Audi belonged to his mother and at first McManus denied he was driving it.

Mr Morton, a widower and retired sales rep for a drinks firm, lived in Alma Street.

Advocate depute Alex Prentice QC said: “John Morton has been described by those who knew him as a well-educated, sociable and good-humoured individual.”

Welcoming the jailing of McManus, police said in the run up to the festive season it was a stark reminder of the dangers of drink driving.

Inspector David McKenzie said: “This case illustrates the devastating consequences which drink driving can have on everyone who uses the roads, whether driver, cyclist or pedestrian.

“This sentence sends a very clear message to all drivers that those who take alcohol then drive stand a very good chance of losing their licence at the very least, and very possibly their own life and that of others.”