Drunk driver killed man in crash then returned to pub

A drunk driver returned to the pub after crashing into a bus stop at high speed and killing a man, a court heard.

Martin Henderson, 30, was travelling at more than double the speed limit when he lost control of his car while overtaking and ploughed into people in Aberdeen.

Allan Forbes, 70, was thrown into a nearby car park by the force of the impact, suffered “catastrophic, unsurvivable injuries” and died at the scene in Bucksburn.

Chloe Donaldson, then 18, was severely injured and now has metal pins holding part of her leg together after she was also hit, despite waiting a short distance from the bus shelter.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Henderson fled the scene for a nearby pub, where he ordered a pint and then returned home to Inverurie, Aberdeenshire.

There, he told his partner he had “f***** up”, opened two cans of lager, reported his car stolen to the police and fell asleep on the couch.

He pleaded guilty on Tuesday to causing death by dangerous driving and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The former engineering supervisor for an offshore oil company has six previous convictions for driving offences, including drink driving, speeding and careless driving, and has previously been given three driving bans.

Judge Lord Mulholland told Henderson, who was tearful throughout the hearing, he would be jailed for the offences, saying he had turned his car into “a lethal weapon”.

Advocate depute Graeme Jessop said Henderson visited two pubs in Inverurie on the evening of the crash on 9 November last year, drinking two and a half pints.

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Allan Forbes, 70, suffered ‘unsurvivable’ injuries

The court heard he then got behind the wheel of his BMW at around 7.30pm, with a colleague as a passenger.

Heading along the A96 towards Aberdeen, he drove at 60mph in a 40mph limit section, undertaking a car then straddling two lanes.

The court heard he then drove through a red light, narrowly avoiding a collision with a van, before overtaking on a bend at an estimated speed of 97mph.

Travelling at 67mph in a 30mph section of dual carriageway on the approach to the crash site, he began overtaking a car but lost control and hit a Nissan Pixo before crashing into the passengers at the bus stop, at around 7.50pm.

Although the Nissan Pixo hit the central reservation, the driver, his son and his son’s friend who were inside were not injured.

Henderson’s passenger was also unharmed and stayed at the scene before telling police Henderson had been driving.

Mr Jessop told the court Mr Forbes – a retired bus driver – was waiting for a bus on the way to meeting his son in a pub.

He leaves behind his wife of 47 years, Caroline, two sons, a daughter and four siblings.

Lord Mulholland told Henderson: “This was not just a momentary lapse of appalling driving, it is constant appalling driving for quite some distance, involving speeding, going through a red light, undertaking, overtaking, overtaking while it was unsafe to do so, all whilst you are under the influence of alcohol, meaning that you turned your car into a lethal weapon.

“You have taken a life and given that poor family a life sentence.”

Ms Donaldson had suffered a “horrific injury”, he said, and could face life-long consequences.

Lord Mulholland continued: “You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.”

He deferred sentencing for background reports until 30 June.

The Forbes family thanked friends, relatives and supporters in the community in a statement.

“The loss of Allan has devastated us and it has left a huge gap in our family that will never be filled,” it said.

“We are glad justice has been done and it means our family can focus on healing.”