Drink-driver who killed friend and then blamed victim is jailed


Police Tape

A drink-driver who crashed the vehicle he was driving, killing his friend, has been jailed for eight years after attempting to lay blame on the deceased.

Mark Kane, 39, of Clelland, North Lanarkshire, had consumed "a considerable amount of alcohol" before taking to the wheel of a Volkswagen Golf in April 2011.

The court heard how Kane had been tailgating motorist Kenneth Goodbrand who was travelling ahead with his wife and two young children.

Mr Goodbrand said that Kane had attempted to pass multiple times on a country road in Shotts, North Lanarkshire, and that his driving had been "eratic".

Kane decided to overtake on a blind bend before the car started to veer off course, exiting the road at speed and flipping onto its roof.

Passenger Andrew Duffy was thrown from the vehicle, suffering fatal injuries, while Mr Goodbrand – who had stopped to help - spotted Kane sliding out of the driver's window to free himself from the wreckage.

The key witness told the court that Kane had called out for his friend but when he was told, "his mate was dead," there was no reaction.

"I asked him was he driving, but he said nothing. His expression was blank," said Mr Goodbrand.

"He then said something like 'we will need to get our stories straight' or 'I will need to get my stories straight'.

"You could smell the alcohol off him. He was staggering about – incoherent," he added.

Despite evidence from a key eyewitness, Kane went to trial claiming he wasn't behind the wheel on that fatal day.

His lawyers lodged a special defence alleging Mr Duffy was driving that day. It meant the victim's family were forced to listen to harrowing details of the crash.

According to the BBC, the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict against Kane following a four-day trial.

It emerged he had previously been banned from driving for three years in 2001 after failing to provide a breath specimen to police.

Kane was jailed for eight years and banned from driving for the next 10 years.