Former Montrose FC striker Craig Smart has been jailed after causing the death of a Fife father.
Smart hit Army veteran Dave McArthur with his van at a zebra crossing in Cardenden.
He was thrown nearly ten metres, landing on the pavement and sustaining such a severe head injury he died in hospital two days later.
Callous Smart waited at the scene for less than ten minutes before fleeing, as witnesses tried to save the life of Mr McArthur.
The 44-year-old, driving his employers’ Ford Transit van, “failed to observe, or react to, Mr McArthur on the zebra”, a police investigator concluded.
The victim, a 43-year-old father-of-two, served the community after his military career by helping people with addictions.
Floor layer Smart, of Kirkcaldy, abandoned the van about four miles away, turned off his phone and escaped detection until the next day.
It emerged he went on to commit three subsequent speeding offences while on bail over Mr McArthur’s death.
Lack of ‘basic human decency’
Smart appeared for sentencing at the High Court in Stirling after being found guilty last month of causing Mr McArthur’s death by careless driving.
He had originally faced a charge of causing death by dangerous driving but a jury found him guilty of the lesser offence, for which the maximum jail term is five years.
A charge of being unfit to drive through drink or drugs at the time of the accident was withdrawn by the prosecution.
However, Smart was found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice by leaving the scene and turning off his phone in a bid to prevent arrest and assessment of his capability to drive.
Judge Lord Scott said this was a significant aggravating factor.
He said Smart had made a “determined effort” to absent himself.
He said: “It must have been entirely obvious to you that you should have remained at the scene for necessary road traffic procedures, if not out of basic human decency.”
Lord Scott said a victim impact statement from Mr McArthur’s wife spoke of the “huge hole” his death had left in the lives of her and their children, just a year short of their 20th wedding anniversary.
Mr McArthur’s sister Debbie spoke of being left in “a black hole of grief”.
Lord Scott said: “No sentence can truly reflect the value of a life lost, such as that of David McArthur.”
He jailed Smart for two years.
‘Too calm’ after crash
The incident occurred in November 2019.
Smart’s counsel Tony Graham KC said Smart accepted he had left Mr McArthur’s family “utterly devastated”.
During the trial, a former care worker Agnes Smith, 63, who stopped and came face-to-face with Smart at the scene in the immediate aftermath of the accident described him as “too calm”.
She told the jury: “His eyes were big.
“It was as if he was on something but I didn’t smell drink.
“He lit up a cigarette, then he was away.”
In addition to the jail term, Smart was banned from driving for six years and required to re-sit his test before ever getting back behind the wheel.
At his trial, Smart told the jury that driving off afterwards was “the worst decision I have made in my life”.
He stayed the night with a friend rather than at his own home, and handed himself into police the next day, too late for officers to check if he had been under the influence at the time.
He insisted, in answer to questioning by prosecutor Derick Nelson, he had “no reason to lie low”.
Smart played for Montrose for between 2003 and 2005, appearing 62 times and scoring 25 goals.
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