A callous hit-and-run driver who left his victim for dead abandoned his car and claimed it had been stolen in a desperate bid to avoid being caught.
Ian Milne was behind the wheel when his car ploughed into 49-year-old Joseph McCarthy on a rural Renfrewshire road.
However, rather than stopping to help Mr McCarthy, heartless Milne drove off.
A short time later, the uninsured driver abandoned his car nearby, took to his heels and called the police to report the vehicle as stolen.
Dad-of-four Mr McCarthy - a popular musician who was known to shoppers in Paisley town centre as ‘Joe the Busker’ - suffered serious injuries and died in hospital two days later.
Despite Milne’s attempts to cover up his crime, police were soon on his trail.
After cops carried out inquiries, he was charged with causing Mr McCarthy’s death by driving carelessly and without insurance cover, failing to stop and report the incident and attempting to pervert the course of justice by falsely reporting that his vehicle had been stolen.
When 56-year-old Milne appeared in the dock at Paisley Sheriff Court yesterday, he denied causing Mr McCarthy’s death and this plea was accepted by the Crown.
He admitted all of the other charges.
The court was told that, early in the morning on January 9 this year, several motorists had called the police to say a man had been staggering on a road in Houston.
Milne’s car later mowed down Mr McCarthy as he was driving along Houston Road.
A witness saw Milne’s vehicle pull up at first and do a U-turn before stopping again and completing a second U-turn before being driven away.
The incident took place just after 6am and, by 7am, Milne had called the police to report that his car had been stolen from outside his home in Loch Road, Bridge of Weir.
Mr McCarthy was rushed to Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital . Two days later, his life support machine was turned off.
Mr McCarthy, of Green Road, Paisley, had gone to Johnstone the night before but it was not known how he came to end up in Houston.
The court heard that Milne owned his car under a Motability scheme but, being a provisional licence holder, could only drive while supervised.
Mr Miller added: “It is now accepted that the deceased must have stepped out - there is no carelessness here - but, the accident having occurred, he drove on.”
Police recovered Milne’s car at around 8am in the grounds of Houston Primary School and noticed signs of accidental damage.
Two hours later, he handed himself into the police and confessed to being the driver.
He told officers that Mr McCarthy - who could often be seen playing his guitar in Paisley’s High Street, with his faithful dog by his side - had stepped out in front of him and he “could not do anything about it.”
Sheriff Colin Pettigrew deferred sentence until September 25. Milne was released on bail .