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Disqualified driver admits causing death of Gloucester welder Paul Stock

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 03, 2013

  • GUILTY: Graham Godwin yesterday. Inset left; Paul Stock.

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DISQUALIFIED driver Graham Godwin has admitted causing the death of "the best welder in Gloucester".

Godwin, 36, shouldn't have been on the road when his motorcycle hit Paul Stock, a court heard.

Mr Stock, who ran popular vehicle body shop SAS in Tredworth, died in hospital a week later in March last year.

Godwin admitted four charges at Cheltenham Magistrates' Court, where the bench heard he had a lengthy record of motoring convictions, including a three-year ban for drink-driving imposed in July 2010.

Mr Stock's widow Mandy and his family were in court to see Godwin plead guilty.

He was carrying a pillion passenger when the collision happened in Tredworth High Street.

"Just before 9pm on March 3, Mr and Mrs Stock were walking home," prosecutor Mary Harley said. "She had crossed the road in front of Mr Stock and heard a loud noise behind her and turned to see a motorcycle with a pillion passenger had collided with her husband."

Steve Young, in mitigation, said Godwin was remorseful and pointed out the Crown did not bring his manner of driving into the prosecution.

Godwin, whose full name is Graham Ade Godwin, admitted causing Mr Stock's death while driving a Shineray motorcycle when he was disqualified, causing his death while not being insured, using a false name to obtain motorcycle insurance, and possession of cannabis.

Godwin, of Winnycroft Lane, Matson was bailed to be sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court on January 23.

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  • TimMessanger  |  January 24 2013, 2:08AM

    18 months, what a joke!

  • OnTheSofa  |  January 04 2013, 6:09PM

    @Tim "The liability would be caused by his gross negligence, as he knew he should not be driving at that point in time ie negligence " just because this satisfies our sense of justice, it doesn't make it possible to argue in court I'm afraid. And, I'm grateful you feel i need the law commission's reform report but without tedious serve and volley of experience and qualifications, let's just say I feel qualified to comment. In this case, the negligence would have to refer to the manner of the riding and not the act of riding itself. whether the villain has insurance is not relevant to the manner of his driving. it simply makes him liable for a different offence. best wishes OTS

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  • raidermanuk  |  January 04 2013, 3:26PM

    I'm no legal eagle but I can't see where negligence comes into this case. The fact that Godwin rode his bike whilst disqualified was not due to neglect. Riding the bike was a wilful act carried out in the full knowledge that he was not legally entitled to do so. If the bike was unsafe in any way and he knew about or if his riding was "inappropriate in a certain fashion" he could be negligent. It would seem that there was nothing wrong with his riding and the collision was not his fault so he is not negligent. He is however guilty of wilfully ignoring the law and I would suspect the judge will be limited to sentencing him to the maximum for that act alone and that the subsequent death will not have much bearing.

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  • Matt1006  |  January 04 2013, 12:10PM

    Tim - so he's guilty of "gross negligence manslaughter", specifically "motor manslaughter". There is no doubt he was grossly negligent, from the moment he entered the public highway in control of a motor vehicle, whilst banned from doing so. The whole act of riding his motorbike whilst on a ban constitutes gross negligence, long before he collided with Mr. Stock. The fraud committed in obtaining motor insurance using a false name is serious too, but the act of killing Mr. Stock is by far the most serious offence. We wait until he is sentenced on 23rd Jan - whatever he gets won't be anywhere long enough, bearing in mind he handed out a death sentence to Mr. Stock, carried out immediately.

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  • PengiPete  |  January 04 2013, 12:00PM

    "QwertyOS ...how that barrister can look himself in the mirror?"" Bloodsuckers don't have reflections.

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  • TimMessanger  |  January 04 2013, 11:44AM

    @onthesofa The liability would be caused by his gross negligence, as he knew he should not be driving at that point in time ie negligence This might help you understand a bit better - http://tinyurl.com/atx3gg9

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  • QwertyOS  |  January 04 2013, 8:03AM

    I know lowlife scumbags, however heinous their activities are entitled to a defence. But for once, just once, if the defending solicitor could say the truth instead some made up fiction, for example....``my client is a lowlife chav and is only remorseful because he/she got caught, and will no doubt do it again given the chance``...

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  • raidermanuk  |  January 03 2013, 5:36PM

    QwertyOS "but how that barrister can look himself in the mirror?" - Quite easily at £1,000 per day! As I said yesterday, there is no reason why this pond life should receive anything less than a lifetime driving ban.

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  • Jewbacca  |  January 03 2013, 5:01PM

    Go and have a look at the t**ds Facebook profile. Apparently he 'hates the police', presumably because they caught him twice doing his ******ty activities. We really need forced sterilisation in this country.

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  • OnTheSofa  |  January 03 2013, 4:40PM

    @Qwerty - he can look himself in the mirror BECAUSE godwin is entitled to a defence. @Tim - no, just because he's caused the poor fellow's death does not mean he's liable for manslaughter. If his riding had been grossly negligent or the manner of riding had been dangerous then there may have been a manslaughter charge. However, most likely it would have been charged as causing death by dangerous driving as it's far easier to secure a conviction for that than manslaughter. :( whatever - it's a tragic incident. my best wishes and condolences to friends and family.

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