Christopher Gadd manslaughter trial: Driver guilty

Image source, Wales News Service
Image caption,
Christopher Gadd died outside the Sainsbury's supermarket in Pontllanfraith, Caerphilly county, on 4 March

A learner driver accused of killing a man following an argument in a car park has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Timothy Higgins, 22, of Blackwood, had denied deliberately swerving to hit Christopher Gadd, 48, in Sainsbury's car park in Pontllanfraith on 4 March.

He was also found guilty of causing death while driving without a licence and insurance at Cardiff Crown Court.

As he was led away, he looked at his family and said: "Can you believe that? That's absolutely disgusting".

Image source, Wales News Service
Image caption,
Paul Gadd said his brother was sent "flying" by Higgins' car

Higgins admitted there had been an altercation outside the store and he "might have shown a V sign" to Mr Gadd and his brother as a "brush off".

The defendant told the jury he had locked the doors of the Land Rover Freelander he was driving because he was "scared".

"Anything could have happened - he could have punched the window, he could have had something in his hands," he said.

The court heard Higgins tried to reverse out of a parking space but was blocked by a car in which Mr Gadd was a passenger, causing Mr Higgins to become "annoyed".

The court heard Christopher Gadd got out of the car and followed Higgins.

Image caption,
Timothy Higgins denied swerving his car and said he was scared following an altercation

Giving evidence, his brother Paul Gadd, who had been driving the car, said he saw Higgins' car swerve into his brother, sending him "flying".

He said: "He was on the floor in a pile of blood. There was blood coming out of his nose and mouth."

The jury heard moments after the incident Higgins said: "My life is over, I've killed him, haven't I?"

Speaking after the case, Lisa Bennett from the Crown Prosecution Service said Higgins had "used the vehicle as a weapon, deliberately swerving towards another person".

She added: "His irresponsible driving has caused a tragic loss of life which could easily have been avoided.

"This case serves as a reminder to all motorists how even low-speed collisions can have devastating consequences."

'Web of lies'

Higgins was remanded in custody for sentencing later this week.

After the trial, Mr Gadd's family said Higgins had shown a lack of remorse and engaged in a "web of lies".

A statement added: "We will now be able to grieve for our brother.

"Christopher was the best friend and brother as could have asked for and we will continue to miss him every day."