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"Absolute menance on the roads" jailed for 18 months for causing death of welder Paul Stock

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

  • MENACE: Graham Godwin.

Comments (9)

"AN ABSOLUTE menace on the roads" has been imprisoned for 18 months after causing the death of a Gloucester welder.

Graham Godwin was disqualified from driving, as well as speeding and carrying a passenger on his one-seated Shineray motorcycle, when it collided with Paul Stock on March 3.

The 36-year-old pleaded guilty to causing death while driving when disqualified, causing death while not being insured and using a false name to obtain insurance.

Gloucester Crown Court heard Godwin had 12 previous convictions for driving without insurance, nine for driving while disqualified and three for drink driving.

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Judge Jamie Tabor QC, who repeatedly asked why a charge of careless driving had not been brought, described the case as the "worst of its type imaginable" at court yesterday.

Mr Tabor said: "This was bound to happen at some time or another and I say that because he is a man with an appalling driving record.

"You are a menace, an absolute menace on the roads.

"His pre-sentence report describes Mr Godwin's attitude to life as someone that 'considers himself exempt from some of the roles that govern society' and I agree.

"Nothing I can do can possibly reflect the value of the life of Mr Stock."

He said the maximum allowed by law for the driving offences was two years – but he was legally bound to reduce it to 18 months to give Godwin credit for his guilty plea.

Prosecutor Julian Kesner said collision investigators concluded Mr Stock, 53, stepped into the path of the motorcycle on Tredworth Road.

He said Godwin could have been travelling up to 43mph on the 30mph road.

Moments before the crash, Godwin had overtaken another driver on speed bumps while his passenger stuck up her middle finger.

Mr Stock, who ran popular vehicle body shop SAS in Tredworth with his wife Mandy, died in hospital a week later. Mr Kesner said Godwin's immediate response when police arrived at the scene was to lie about the crash.

A search of unemployed Godwin's home at Winnycroft Lane in Matson found 12 cannabis plants. A further six months was added to his jail term after he admitted production of the class B drug.

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  • mandyst  |  January 26 2013, 4:13PM

    to however has some law knowledge. I have continually asked why UNLAWFUL/CONSTRUCTIVE MANSLAUGHTER is not applicable. constructive act manslaughter- ' ALTHOUGH THE ACCUSED DID NOT INTEND TO CAUSE SERIOUS HARM OR FORSEE THE RISK OF DOING SO,and although an objective observer would not necessarily have predicted that serious harm would result, the accused's responsibility for causing the death is CONSTRUCTED from the fault in committing what might have been a minor criminal act. He was disqualified, uninsured, had an illegal passenger, was speeding had false insurance, had aggresivly overtaken and was obviously not paying attention to the road. How many criminal acts do you need. it's exactly what it says on the tin.

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  January 24 2013, 4:02PM

    .....................oh, and he has face not EVEN a mother could love.

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  January 24 2013, 4:01PM

    For some inexplicable reason, killing using a vehicle is somehow classed as a lesser crime. I've know people who've just stolen a few thousand pounds get ten times this waste of skin. The first responsibility of the Government is to protect it's citizens, and no Govt ever has in this regard. He should be banned for life.

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  • valhalla2010  |  January 24 2013, 1:40PM

    I think there should be compulsary sterilisation for people like this.

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  • QwertyOS  |  January 24 2013, 11:08AM

    Can his girlfriend not be held partly responsible? Even if she could be given a few weeks in custody it would mean another chav off the streets.

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  • raidermanuk  |  January 24 2013, 10:26AM

    1. His speed was calculated at 42mph in a 30mph limit. 2. He rode with a passenger on a bike designed for one (ie with no pillion seat) and could never be in full control of the bike. 3. He had overtaken a car which was negotiating a speed bump. As he went past the car his girlfriend turned and gave the driver, Colin Lee, a single finger gesture So why did the Crown prosecutors decide there was not enough evidence for a charge of causing death by careless driving? Why not a lifetime ban?

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  • bonzaharris1  |  January 24 2013, 10:26AM

    Perhaps they should look into and make tougher sentencing laws. A mandatory five year jail sentence for driving while disqualified, and no insurance may make people think twice, and if not it will put them out of harms way. An 18 month sentence for killing Paul Stock is a very bad joke, that leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. It sends out the wrong message to scum like Graham Godwin, that there is not much to fear if you get caught. It has made Pauls Stock life very cheap, he has lost potentially 20 or more years of his life, it is not good enough. Unless this government get tough and review what people can be charged with and how long for, more innocent people will die, and this country will go to hell in a handcart.

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  • Matt1006  |  January 24 2013, 9:39AM

    Disgraceful that having killed a man he'll only spend 9 months in prison. Not Judge Tabor's fault (who's hands were tied), it's the sentencing laws at fault. So, this killer will be out before Christmas, in time for him to ignore his latest driving ban (which he will, just like he ignored the last one...), and potentially ruin more people's Christmases. The law needs changing here. This moron knowingly ignored an existing ban, went out on the roads and killed Mr. Stock. OK he didn't set out with the intention of causing a death, but he quite simply should not have been on the road. Such cases of causing death by driving whilst banned should carry a MUCH higher sentence, on a par with manslaughter, if not actually deemed to be manslaughter. The sentence is an insult to Mr. Stock's memory.

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  • Walker100  |  January 24 2013, 9:33AM

    "Judge Jamie Tabor QC, repeatedly asked why a charge of careless driving had not been brought" Has TiG contacted Barry Hughes, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the South West and asked him this very pertinent question, after all, he does seem to enjoy the limelight.

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