Advertisement
Alexander McKellar has been jailed for 12 years. handout/PA
Scotland

Drink-driver who killed charity cyclist and hid body in remote location jailed for 12 years

Alexander McKellar was sentenced today at the High Court in Glasgow over the death of Tony Parsons.

A DRINK-DRIVER who admitted killing a charity cyclist by hitting him and abandoning him by the side of the road in a remote Scottish estate has been jailed for 12 years.

Alexander McKellar, 31, caused the death of 63-year-old Tony Parsons by hitting him with his car on the A82 near Bridge of Orchy, Argyll and Bute, on 29 September 2017.

Originally charged with murdering Parsons, McKellar pleaded guilty to an amended charge of culpable homicide at the High Court in Glasgow last month.

McKellar and his twin brother Robert also admitted attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

McKellar was sentenced to 12 years behind bars when he appeared at the same court today.

Robert McKellar was sentenced to five years and three months in jail.

embedded273135718 Robert McKellar has been jailed after he admitted attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

Members of Parsons’s family, including his widow Margaret and children Mike and Victoria, were in court for the sentencing.

McKellar admitted driving on the A82 at “excess speed and when unfit through alcohol”.

With “reckless disregard” for the consequences of his actions, he left Parsons by the side of the road “in a remote location during the hours of darkness and in inclement weather”, causing his death.

Sentencing McKellar, Judge Lord Armstrong said: “Alexander McKellar, on 29 September 2017, you consumed alcohol and you did drive from there in the direction of your home.

“On the course of that night you collided with Tony Parsons on the A82 who was riding his bicycle. The extensive damage to the front of your vehicle is indicative of the force you hit him with.

“He sustained multiple rib fractures and complex pelvic fractures.

“The cause of his death is likely to have been a result of impacted breathing and a bleeding thorax.

“Parsons’s family have been deeply impacted and the emotional harm is ongoing.

“There is nothing I can say or do to compensate for their loss.”

tony-parsons-court-case Tony Parsons’s widow Margaret and the couple’s children Mike and Victoria, right, attended the sentencing hearing. PA PA

In court last month, a narrative revealed how some time between 29 September, 2017 and January 3, 2021, the McKellar brothers returned to the A82 and moved Parsons’s body to the Auch Estate and buried him with an excavator in a peat bog where animal carcasses were disposed of.

Tip-off

Police launched a major investigation following a tip-off from a woman McKellar had begun a relationship with in 2020, the court heard.

She had asked him if there was anything from his past that may affect their relationship, and he told her he had hit Parsons with an Isuzu D-Max pick-up while speeding.

Advocate depute Alex Prentice KC told the court that McKellar had said to the woman that he had been “distracted” by headlights and struck something on the side of the A82, which turned out to be Parsons.

The woman left a can of Red Bull in the area where Parsons’s body had been hidden and detectives later found the scene.

The brothers also hid Parsons’s bicycle behind a waterfall on the Auch Estate but this has never been recovered, the court heard.

The two men were arrested on 20 December, 2020 and Parsons’s body was recovered for forensic investigation in January 2021.

Parsons was killed while on a 100-mile charity cycle from his home in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, to Fort William.

A missing persons inquiry was launched on 2 October, 2017 when he failed to return home.

tony-parsons-court-case Tony Parsons was killed while on a charity cycle in 2017. PA PA

The cyclist’s family released a statement after the guilty pleas, saying he loved “nothing more” than spending time with his grandchildren.

The statement said: “As you can imagine, not knowing what has happened to someone and then the devastating news that we were provided has taken its toll on all of us as a family.

“At last justice has been done and we would like to thank not only the court officials and officers from Police Scotland’s major investigation team, Forth Valley Division; and other Police Scotland departments who worked on this case, but all the volunteers and mountain rescue teams who tirelessly searched for him in the earlier stages of the inquiry.”

Author
Press Association