A drink driver who killed his girlfriend and a workmate in a crash on the shores of a loch has been jailed for eight years.

Jordan Lawrence was seen drinking whisky, gin and vodka at a party before getting behind the wheel and driving away with Jasmine Herron, 19, and Jonathan Graham, 37.

Minutes later he lost control and collided with a boulder, sending the car flying through the air and onto the banks of Loch Caolisport in Argyll.

Lawrence fled the scene and ‘holed up’ at home, leaving the bodies of Ms Herron and gamekeeper Mr Graham, who had been thrown out of the vehicle during the crash, to be discovered the next morning.

The 25-year-old denied causing their deaths by dangerous driving, but was found guilty after a trial. He drove while unfit due to the consumption of alcohol, at excessive speed and failed to maintain observations. He lost control of the car which left the road and collided with a boulder.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Lawrence had been at a party following a pheasant shoot before getting behind the wheel to drive along the single-track B8024 south of Ormsary in January 2020. He arrived at the party with a pack of Stella Artois and consumed whisky, gin and vodka during the evening, jurors heard.

Jasmine Herron, 19, was in a car with her drunk boyfriend Jordan Lawrence, 25, who crashed and left her and a second person for dead following an incident in January 2020

Jasmine Herron, 19, was in a car with her drunk boyfriend Jordan Lawrence, 25, who crashed and left her and a second person for dead following an incident in January 2020

Jasmine Herron, 19, was in a car with her drunk boyfriend Jordan Lawrence, 25, who crashed and left her and a second person for dead following an incident in January 2020

Jonny Graham, pictured, was also in the car which left the road on the B8024 in Argyleshire. They court heard Lawrence was drinking heavily before getting behind the wheel of the car

Jonny Graham, pictured, was also in the car which left the road on the B8024 in Argyleshire. They court heard Lawrence was drinking heavily before getting behind the wheel of the car

Jonny Graham, pictured, was also in the car which left the road on the B8024 in Argyleshire. They court heard Lawrence was drinking heavily before getting behind the wheel of the car

As he left with Ms Herron and father-of-three Mr Graham, who was the head gamekeeper at the Ormsary Estate, he appeared to witnesses to be driving fast. One said: ‘It just zoomed past.’

Advocate depute Graeme Jessop said the evidence pointed to Lawrence losing control of the vehicle at a point in the road where there was no obvious hazard.

The prosecutor said: ‘He made off from the scene and holed up in his house. Why? Is one obvious explanation that he was trying to avoid detection by the authorities until such time as he sobered up?’

He added: ‘He went home and lay low until the police found him.’

Gamekeeper James Reid, 40, told the court that an end of season pheasant shoot had been organised for that weekend, known as ‘keepers’ day’. he said: ‘It is mainly for people who have helped on shoots throughout the year.’

He said it was ‘a bit of a social get together’ to celebrate the end of the year and the work that had gone on.

He said he and Mr Graham, who lived at the gamekeeper’s cottage with his wife and boys, were running the event and Lawrence, who worked at the estate at the time, came to the aftershoot party at a village hall.

The following morning Mr Reid returned to the hall to make sure everything was in order and it was secured. He was returning home when he saw a car on the shore off the B8024 and recognised it as Lawrence’s vehicle.

He said: ‘It was well down the beach, facing out to sea.’ He added that the car was ‘a wreck’. He then realised that Mr Graham was lying dead.

He returned home and emergency services were contacted and then returned to the shoreline with his partner Lisa McShane, who realised that Miss Herron was also dead.

She said she was concerned because she could not see Lawrence and added: ‘I knew they were together and I thought he could possibly be lying dead somewhere as well.’

Police later informed them that Lawrence had been found.

Defence counsel Lynsey Morgan asked the court to take into account sentencing guidelines on young people. But Judge Lord Beckett told Lawrence: ‘You were 22 years old at the time of this incident and you are now 25.

‘Your age at the time of the incident has some limited bearing on your culpability, but there has been no suggestion you were inexperienced and it seems you had been driving since you were 17.

‘You hardly needed maturity to realise that driving as you did was dangerous for your passengers.’

Lord Beckett said he had read of the ‘terrible consequences’ for the families of the victims, saying: ‘There is no sentence that I can pass which matches the value of the two lives that have been lost.’

Lawrence, a digger operator of Newmilns in Ayrshire, was also banned from driving for 12 years.

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