Family pay tribute to charity cyclist who was killed and his body hidden

Tony Parsons was knocked off his bike and killed near Bridge of Orchy on the A82 in September 2017.

The family of charity cyclist Tony Parsons have paid tribute to a “much-loved” husband, dad and grandad after a drink-driver admitted killing him by hitting him with his car in 2017.

Alexander McKellar hit 63-year-old Mr Parsons with his car on September 29 2017 on the A82 near Bridge of Orchy.

On Wednesday, at the High Court in Glasgow, he pleaded guilty to culpable homicide.

McKellar appeared alongside his twin brother, Robert. They both admitted to attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

Alexander McKellar admitted to killing cyclist Tony Parsons after hitting him with his car in September 2017 (Police Scotland/PA)

The court heard how the brothers had left Mr Parsons and returned at a later date to move his body to woods in Auch Estate where they buried him in a location used to dispose of dead animals.

Following the conviction, Mr Parson’s family released a statement through Police Scotland.

It said: “Tony was a much-loved husband, dad and grandad. When he said goodbye and set off on his charity cycle from Fort William that Friday, none of us expected it to be the last time we would be able to see or speak to him.”

His family said Mr Parsons loved “nothing more” than spending time with his grandchildren and had a passion for fishing.

Alexander McKellar court case
The family of Tony Parsons leave the High Court in Glasgow after the case (Laura Paterson/PA)

The statement added: “Tony was a lover of sports and was a keen golfer. He also spent many years involved with rugby at all levels including playing, coaching mini/midi rugby and refereeing.”

His family said they had been left with “unanswered questions” and that it had been “heart-breaking” for them.

They said: “As you can imagine, not knowing what has happened to someone and then the devastating news that we were provided has taken its toll on all of us as a family.

“At last justice has been done and we would like to thank not only the Court officials and officers from Police Scotland’s major investigation team, Forth Valley Division; and other Police Scotland Departments who worked on this case, but all the volunteers and mountain rescue teams who tirelessly searched for him in the earlier stages of the inquiry.

Robert McKellar pleaded guilty to attempting to defeat the ends of justice (Police Scotland/PA)

“As a family we would like to request privacy at this time so that we can finally grieve and come to terms with the outcome of the trial and a life without Tony.”

Alexander McKellar pleaded guilty to culpable homicide and attempting to pervert the course of justice and his twin brother Robert McKellar pled guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice.

They will be sentenced at a later date.

Detective Inspector Fraser Spence, of Police Scotland’s major investigation team, said: “The brutal and uncaring actions of these men left the family of Mr Parsons distraught, not knowing what had happened to him for many years.

“It appeared that he had just disappeared into thin air.

“A major policing operation was carried out to try to find Mr Parsons, including searches over a vast and remote area near to where he was last seen.

“In December 2021, information provided to officers led to the brothers being arrested and then charged.

“Further searches were carried out and, in January 2021, human remains were found in a remote area of ground close to a farm near the A82. These were identified as Anthony Parsons.

“Our thoughts are very much with the family and friends of Mr Parsons and I hope that the court outcome now gives them some kind of closure.

“I would like to thank the local community for all their help and assistance during this complex investigation and to members of the public who came forward and provided information.

“I would also like to pay tribute to all the officers who worked on this case and to the dedicated work carried out over many years to bring these men to justice.”

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