A DRINK driver has today admitted to killing a charity cyclist and then hiding his body in a grave.

Alexander McKellar ploughed into Tony Parsons in his Isuzu pick-up on the A82 road between Bridge of Orchy and Tyndrum in Argyll and Bute on September 29, 2017.

McKellar then teamed up with his twin brother Robert to try and cover up the crime which included burying the 63-year-old ex-Navy officer in nearby woods.

Mr Parsons' disappearance sparked a large-scale missing person probe, which included a BBC Crimewatch TV appeal by his son.

Glasgow Times:

It was only on January 12, 2021 - more than three years after he was killed - that his remains were discovered in the remote area in Bridge of Orchy.

Both McKellars - aged 31 - had been due to stand trial accused of Mr Parsons' murder.

But, via his KC Brian McConnachie, Alexander McKellar today pleaded guilty at the High Court in Glasgow to the reduced charge of culpable homicide.

His brother - represented by defence KC John Scullion - had his not-guilty plea to murder accepted.

Along with Alexander, he instead admitted to a charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

Glasgow Times: Left: Robert McKellar. Right: Alexander McKellarLeft: Robert McKellar. Right: Alexander McKellar (Image: Police Scotland)

The pair, from Bishopbriggs, were remanded in custody as the case was adjourned until Friday of this week when further details of the horror are expected to be heard.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice KC revealed Alexander already has a string of road traffic convictions.

He was guilty of dangerous driving in 2009 in Oban. Three years later, he was convicted of drink driving.

The same year, Alexander was found guilty of careless driving. Both the latter cases were at Stirling.

Mr Parsons had travelled from his home in Tillicoultry, Clacks in September 2017 to Fort William and was intending on returning south as part of a charity bike ride.

The amended culpable homicide charge stated Alexander drove at excess speed and when unfit through alcohol on the night of the killing.

Glasgow Times:

Mr Parsons was cycling on the A82 at the time.

Prosecutors stated Alexander failed to observe him and caused his vehicle to hit the dad.

Knowing Mr Parsons was then badly hurt, he failed to get any medical help for the victim in what was described as "reckless disregard for the consequences" of his actions.

The cyclist was said to have been abandoned at the side of the road in the dark and remote area in "inclement weather".

Mr Parsons was eventually reported missing on October 2 2017.

Both McKellars knew what had happened and took extreme steps to cover up the crime.

The damaged car involved in the killing was dumped at the nearby Auch Estate along with their phones.

They then returned in another car to where Mr Parsons was.

The man was then hauled into this motor along with his bike and other personal belongings.

The brothers went back to the Auch Estate and initially hid the body in a part of the woods.

But, the victim was later taken to another location there used "for the purposes of disposing of dead animals".

A grave was then dug and the body of Mr Parsons was dumped in it.

Glasgow Times: Tony ParsonsTony Parsons (Image: Newsquest)

He was buried while his personal belongings were also disposed of.

Prosecutors said the brothers got help in trying to repair the car used in the killing claiming damage had been caused by hitting a deer.

The charge stated all this was to "prevent and delay the discovery of the body".

It was said they did "obstruct" the police from conducting a "full and proper investigation" into the circumstances of the killing.

This charge spanned between September 29, 2017, and January 3, 2021, listing various locations including Bridge of Orchy, Fauldhouse in West Lothian and a garage in Airdrie, Lanarkshire.

Mr Parsons' body was eventually discovered later that month by specialist police search officers in a remote area of ground close to a farm near the A82.

Glasgow Times:

Members of Mr Parsons' family including his wife and two adult children were at the hearing today.

Alexander McKellar today had his not guilty plea to causing the death of Mr Parsons accepted.

Prosecutor Mr Prentice told the hearing: "A plea has been agreed at this stage. I propose the Crown and the defence prepare an agreed narrative.

He added the case was "complex" and that there was "quite a bit to say".

Lord Armstrong adjourned the hearing until Friday.