Drink-driver killed pensioner, 75, in road rage attack by shoving him to floor

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·3-min read
James Gill has been jailed after admitting to the manslaughter of 75-year-old Neil Robinson. (PA/Notts Police)
James Gill has been jailed after admitting to the manslaughter of 75-year-old Neil Robinson. (PA/Notts Police)

A drink-driver who killed a pensioner by pushing him to the floor in a road rage attack has been jailed.

James Gill, 39, caused skull fractures to Neil Robinson, 75, after shoving him onto a concrete floor in a bout of road rage on 16 December last year, in Chilwell, Nottinghamshire.

Sheffield Crown Court was told 'large and powerful' Gill - who was a heavy drinker and cocaine user - had become irritated that Mr Robinson was trying to cross the road.

As Mr Robinson lay on the ground unconscious, Gill tried to put the blame on the pensioner, telling witnesses: "He is pretending to be knocked out. We had an argument. I pushed him. Then he fell over".

Mr Robinson, a much-loved grandfather, died in hospital six days later from his injuries.

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Gill - who was a heavy drinker and cocaine user - had become irritated that Mr Robinson was trying to cross the road. (Notts Police)
Gill - who was a heavy drinker and cocaine user - had become irritated that Mr Robinson was trying to cross the road. (Notts Police)

Gill fled the scene after the attack before embarking on a "catalogue of carnage", driving to a nearby Lidl and stealing vodka, Ribena and chocolate.

After smashing the bottle of vodka against a wall, a mother with her daughter challenged him when he pulled up at traffic lights.

Gill then pulled his car in front of theirs blocking their way, threatening to set fire to their vehicle.

When another driver stopped his car and suggested Gill move his car out of the way and that he should not have thrown the bottle, Gill went over to him and punched him several times.

Leaving the scene, Gill then went onto injure two further drivers after driving into the back of them.

When he was eventually arrested, he assaulted the police officers after he failed a breath test showing he was more than double the drink-drive limit.

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Ranson Road in Chilwell, Nottingham, where the assault took place. (Google)
Ranson Road in Chilwell, Nottingham, where the assault took place. (Google)

Gill initially denied manslaughter, but changed his plea to guilty on 31 May.

He also pleaded guilty to three counts of assault causing actual bodily harm, drink-driving and two counts of theft.

Sentencing him to 10 years and nine months, Rafferty told Gill he was a “large and powerful man” who had attacked a “vulnerable, elderly victim who posed no threat to you at all”.

Gill was also banned from driving for five years after he is released.

Detective Inspector Steve Wragg said: “Gill’s attack on Mr Robinson was cowardly and completely unprovoked. It cost an innocent man his life and left a family completely devastated.

“Of course, no sentence imposed today could put things right and my thoughts remain with Mr Robinson's family at what continues to be an extremely painful time for them.

“I hope they take some comfort in knowing Gill is no longer able to harm other innocent people.

“As alluded to by the judge, the attack on Mr Robinson was one of a catalogue of appalling incidents Gill committed that day. His actions were simply inexcusable and I am glad he will be in prison for a long time.

“It is right that he is now being punished for what he did and I hope he uses his time in prison to reflect on the harm he has caused."

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