Former Celtic B team player killed teen in drunk-driving hit and run

Ciaran Dickson drank several pints and cocktails before getting behind the wheel of his rented Mercedes.

Former Celtic B team player Ciaran Dickson killed Aidan Pilkington, 18, in drunk hit and run in Anniesland SNS Group

A former Celtic B team player killed a teenager in a hit and run after downing pints and cocktails at a Glasgow bar.

Ciaran Dickson struck Aidan Pilkington, 18, while he was crossing the road in Anniesland on September 11, 2021.

The 22-year-old midfielder, who is also an ex-Rangers youth, dragged the teenager along the ground with his rented Mercedes before fleeing the scene and abandoning his car close to his home.

Dickson pled guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at the High Court in Glasgow on Friday.

The court heard Dickson had visited the Duck Bay Marina restaurant in Loch Lomond with a friend on the night of the incident where he drank a pint of lager and a bottle of Corona before driving to a pool club in Glasgow city centre.

CCTV from the bar confirmed he drank a further two pints of lager before driving to The Black Horse bar where he consumed three pints of the strong cocktail venom topped up with an extra measure of vodka.

Aidan – who was to embark on his first year as a university student – was out with school friends that night and left a pub around 11.30pm.

He was en route to a friend’s house with when the collision occurred on Crow Road around midnight.

Aidan’s friend Ben Smith recalled seeing a vehicle a “distance away” and believed there was enough time to cross the road. Aidan followed behind him.

Prosecutor John Keenan KC said: “Mr Smith was walking within the two lanes when he realised the car was getting closer, faster than he expected.

“He could not estimate the speed of the vehicle, but it caused him to ‘quicken up’.

“He was halfway into the lane when he turned around to see if Aidan was following.

“He observed that Aidan was halfway into the nearside lane of the road.”

Mr Smith stated that a white car struck Aidan when he was positioned between the two lanes.

He added that he did not remember Aidan being ran over by the car but to “have travelled for around ten to 15 metres with the car.”

Other witnesses described hearing a loud bang and a thud as well as seeing Aidan on the ground.

He was noted to be unconscious with blood coming from his mouth and ears.

Aidan was also found to have an exposed fractured skull, very shallow breathing and CPR was carried out at the scene by medics.

Aidan was taken to hospital where he remained unresponsive and was pronounced dead at 1.55am.

Dickson, who was employed by Celtic’s B team at the time, drove off at speed which witnesses believed was around 50 to 70 miles per hour.

He abandoned his vehicle and was later found to have ran 178 metres back to his home which was discovered after his fitness watch was seized by police.

Damage was noted on the vehicle which is also included a missing Mercedes Benz badge.

Dickson handed himself into police the next day and he was released pending an investigation.

He gave a no comment interview to officers in February 2022 and in June he was finally arrested.

A post-mortem examination was carried out which revealed major external injuries to Aidan’s head and trunk.

Aidan suffered bruising and wounds to his forehead, scalp, eye and cheek.

There was also a full thickness wound to the back of his head surrounded by bruising.

Mr Keenan added: “Pathologists considered that the injuries to the front and back of the head were consistent with a run over or dragging type scenario.”

Further injuries included to the abdomen and pelvis as well as a number of rib fractures.

An internal examination revealed a large skull fracture which was associated with a small amount of bleeding on the surface of the brain.

Pathologists considered that a brain injury might be responsible for the “very rapid death”.

Mr Keenan said: “The major cause of death is considered to be severe head injury which is consistent with being sustained as a result of road traffic collision.”

It was also suggested that Aidan was not standing at the time of the collision. It is not known if he slipped or fell.

Collision investigators believed Dickson was travelling between 64 and 71 miles per hour at the time.

Forensic scientists calculated that Dickson was approximately more than three times over the drink drive limit.

Thomas Ross KC, defending, said: “Nothing said by Ciaran Dickson can offer comfort to Aidan’s family and friends.

“He recognises that he is fully deserving of a sentence of imprisonment.”

Dickson’s previous convictions include careless driving from December 2020 when he was hit with three penalty points.

He was also convicted of a domestic incident in April 2023 when he was ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work.

Dickson – who was tipped for first team football – was released by Celtic having scored two goals in his first two appearances for the B team.

Sentence was deferred pending background reports until next month by Judge Lord Colbeck who remanded Dickson in custody in the meantime.

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