Hereford & Worcester

Life sentence for Evesham river plunge father

A man who murdered his five-year-old daughter by driving a car into a river has been jailed for life.

Christopher Grady, who drove into the River Avon in Evesham, was convicted of murdering Gabrielle and attempting to murder his son Ryan, then aged six.

Ryan and his father were rescued, but Gabrielle died three days after being trapped for two hours in February 2010.

Grady, 43, of no fixed address, was told at Birmingham Crown Court he must spend at least 15 years in jail.


Mr Justice Lindblom also sentenced Grady to 10 years in prison for the attempted murder of Ryan, to run concurrently.

He said: "It would horrify any right-thinking person. You took the life of your daughter Gabby, who was five years old.

"You tried to take the life of your son Ryan, who was six. Those crimes were born of anger and self-pity."

The judge told the court that Grady had betrayed the trust of his "defenceless" children, who were screaming and crying "in terror".

He said: "In all of this, Ryan and Gabby were innocent. They were your children, they loved you. They looked to you for protection and support."

'Last goodbye'

During the trial Grady denied the charges and told jurors it was an accident.

The children's mother Kim Smith, 37, said Grady had arrived at her home in Abbots Walk, Evesham, at about 0915 GMT, and gave her 10 seconds to say goodbye to the children for the last time.

She said her ex-partner's face had been "contorted" and "vile" as he drove off with the children to Hampton Ferry, shouting the word "river".

Grady was convicted on Friday following a three-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

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