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