A repeat drink-driver referred for bereavement counselling after killing his pal in a crash is bidding to have his eight-year jail sentence cut.
Uninsured motorist Anthony Grant told rescuers who fought to stop him drowning that he was alone in the car – despite victim John Quinnin being in it.
Grant, 22, went too fast into a bad bend on the A75, near Kirkcowan, and lost control of the Vauxhall Vectra.
The vehicle became airborne after it wheels struck a kerb and hit a marker post and trees before colliding with a telegraph pole and rolling down a banking, landing on its roof in a marsh.
Mr Quinnin, of Cramlington, in Northumberland, died after sustaining a major chest injury.
The friends had travelled to the area to spend a few days at a holiday park in Gatehouse, where they booked into a caravan.
Grant, from Newcastle, admitted causing the death of his friend on June 8 last year by driving carelessly and while over the drink-drive limit when he appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh.
Judge Lady Stacey told him he would have faced a 12-year prison term but for his early guilty plea.
She told Grant: “John Quinnin was a much loved son. Nothing I can do or say can lessen the grief that his family has felt at his loss.
“You chose to drive under the influence of alcohol. You then drove on a country road, which you did not know, at a speed which was too fast. You lost control and the outcome which followed was the tragedy of your friend’s death.”
The judge pointed out that Grant had a “very troubling record” with previous convictions for driving without a licence and insurance and two for drink-driving.
But lawyers acting for Grant at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh have now challenged the sentence.
His solicitor advocate David Taylor argued that Lady Stacey’s approach of choosing a 12-year starting point in sentencing, which was close to the maximum of 14 years, was “excessive”.
Mr Taylor maintained the carelessness was not prolonged or persistent and the incident occurred at a bad bend where there were inadequate warning signs.
“This is a road which is, unbeknown to the appellant, pretty dangerous at any time,” he said. Grant had been diagnosed with severe depression and was referred for bereavement counselling.
The lawyer argued that the “undoubted mental trauma” Grant had undergone as a result of the guilt he feels should be considered.
Lord Mackay, who heard the appeal with Lord Philip, said they would give a judgment later.