Killer's getaway driver avoids jail

THE family of murder victim Mark Johnston reacted with fury after a woman who unwittingly drove a getaway car for his killer avoided jail.

Natasha Fell, 22, was sentenced to 260 hours of community service after she admitted driving dangerously at double the speed limit and causing a police officer to jump out of her path.

As sentence was passed at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday, relatives and friends of Mr Johnston were ordered to leave the court after shouting out.

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Fell insisted she was unaware of what was going to happen.

On hearing Fell was not being jailed, one member of Mr Johnston's family shouted: "That's a joke, she's a liar. She knew exactly where she was going."

Fell, a mother-of-one, had been asked to give killer Philip Graham a lift to the home of Mr Johnston, 31, along with two others.

Graham, 23, the cousin of Mr Johnston's partner, admitted murdering the father-of-five at Haddington Place on 14 June, 2009, in court last year.

Graham, of West Pilton Terrace, Edinburgh, was sentenced to life and must serve at least ten years.

He had gone looking for Mr Johnston after his brother was involved in a row at a party earlier in the evening. Mr Johnston was stabbed and subsequently died.

Fiscal depute Gerard Drugan said: "Fell was the person driving the car and during the course of the offence she remained in her car at all times. She was unaware of what had taken place."

The court heard Philip Graham came running back towards the car and was heard to say, "Move, I've just chibbed him."

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PC Andrew Stewart had stopped at a congregation of people and was told those responsible were in a black Kia car.

Mr Drugan said: "The officer stood in the road and raised his arm to signal the car to stop."

The car accelerated and PC Stewart had to jump out of the way. Fell, of Pilton, admitted driving at up to 60mph in a 30mph zone, failing to comply with a stop sign and driving at PC Stewart.

Fell later pulled in, saying she had run out of petrol as a way of getting out of the situation.

Defence agent Gayle Addison said: "She acted without rational thought and under the instructions of a now convicted murderer."

Fell was also banned from driving for two years and ordered to sit the extended test again.

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