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Wales
Wales

Car park row death: Driver 'swerved into Christopher Gadd'

  • 21 October 2019
Christopher Gadd Image copyright Wales News Service Image caption Christopher Gadd died outside the Sainsbury's supermarket in Pontllanfraith on 4 March

A learner driver swerved into a man and killed him after he got annoyed about being blocked into a supermarket car parking space, a court has heard.

Timothy Higgins, 22, from Blackwood, was not insured to drive the car which hit Christopher Gadd outside the Sainsbury's store in Pontllanfraith.

Mr Gadd, 48, was hit after Mr Higgins swerved his car towards him, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

He denies manslaughter and causing death while driving without a licence.

Mr Higgins also denies causing death while driving uninsured.

The jury heard Mr Gadd had been driven to the supermarket by his brother, Paul Gadd, to do some shopping on 4 March.

Mr Higgins was there to use the cash machine, but found that when he tried to leave his car was blocked in by the Gadds' vehicle.

Prosecutor Owen Williams said: "The defendant became annoyed, he gestured at the Gadds and they gestured back. The 'v' sign was used."

The court heard Mr Higgins then drove off to another part of the car park.

It was told Christopher Gadd got out of the car and followed Mr Higgins.

"The prosecution's case is that, as the defendant approached [Mr Gadd], he deliberately swerved to the right, in order to drive towards Christopher Gadd," Mr Williams said.

"The prosecution does not suggest that the defendant intended to kill or cause him serious harm but, in doing so, he unlawfully assaulted Mr Gadd."

Image caption Timothy Higgins initially denied swerving his car in police interviews

Paul Gadd told the court Christopher Gadd lost his hearing after contracting meningitis as a child, but under cross-examination denied the condition affected his brother's balance.

The court heard Christopher Gadd was three times the drink-drive limit when he was killed.

Paul Gadd said it had been his brother's birthday the previous day, but he had only drunk a couple of cans the night before.

In police interviews he spoke about the altercation with Mr Higgins, saying the defendant had become aggressive.

"All I remember was that he was effing and blinding. He was shouting his mouth off, giving it all this," he said.

He admitted his brother had been angry and was swearing at Mr Higgins before he got out of the car and started running.

Paul Gadd insisted he saw Mr Higgins' car swerve into his brother, sending him "flying".

Image copyright Wales News Service Image caption Mr Higgins denies any wrongdoing

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

Mr Higgins denied wrongdoing and said he drove in a straight line in interviews with the police.

However in his final police interview, the court heard he admitted he did intentionally swerve from left to right to scare Mr Gadd.

The court also heard Mr Higgins now said that interview was "not a true admission" of what happened.

A pathologist said Mr Gadd's death was caused by a blunt force head injury and complex skull fractures.

The trial continues.

Related Topics

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  • Man denies Pontllanfraith supermarket manslaughter charge
    29 April 2019

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