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Life sentence for man who hit 87-year-old grandfather at bus stop in stolen car

UK News | Published:

Gavin Collins smashed the patio doors of a house before hitting Terry Radford, who was stood at a bus stop.

Gavin Collins court case

A man who killed an 87-year-old grandfather after driving into him at a bus stop in a stolen car has been handed a life sentence.

Dashcam footage released by police shows Gavin Collins, 39, driving at speed and overtaking vehicles before losing control and crashing into a house in Nottingham on April 19 last year.

He is seen to rip off the rear-view mirror after saying, “don’t need this” before shouting, “watch me go now” and “I’m Jesus… descendant of God.”

Driving another stolen car, Collins later reversed at speed and mounted the pavement before hitting retired teacher Terry Radford in Mansfield Woodhouse.

Mr Radford, who was a former councillor and magistrate and described as “the most wonderful dad and granddad”, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Collins, from Tibshelf, Derbyshire, was handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 14 years at Nottingham Crown Court last week after he was found guilty of manslaughter by diminished responsibility, Nottinghamshire Police said.

Gavin Collins court case
Gavin Collins who has been given a life sentence after killing 87-year-old grandfather Terry Radford after driving into him at a bus stop in Mansfield Woodhouse (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)

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He was also convicted of two counts of aggravated vehicle taking, two counts of burglary and one count of attempted robbery, while a charge of kidnap was earlier dismissed.

Collins burst into a man’s house in Tibshelf on the morning of April 19 last year before grabbing his car keys and shouting he was borrowing the car before driving off towards Nottingham.

Dashcam footage captured the moment he crashed into a house in Mansfield Road as the homeowner jumped out of the way.

He then got into a woman’s car and forced her out of it before driving off towards Mansfield Woodhouse, but got out minutes later after crashing into some barriers.

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Gavin Collins court case
Gavin Collins crashing into a wall after taking another car (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)

Collins stole another car after smashing the patio doors of a house in Worcester Avenue before hitting Mr Radford, who was stood at a bus stop.

Footage released by police shows Collins ramming a police car and reversing through a garden wall as he made his escape.

He was finally arrested after being dragged out of the car by officers brandishing Tasers after he crashed into a tree.

Gavin Collins court case
Collins crashing the car in Mansfield Woodhouse (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)

Mr Radford taught at Valley Comprehensive, now known as Outwood Academy Valley, in Worksop and was a former Mansfield Woodhouse councillor and magistrate.

In a statement after his death, his family said: “We’re absolutely devastated at the loss of the most wonderful dad and granddad who was loved and respected by everyone.

“He was the hub of our family. He was 87 but remained intelligent, articulate and funny. He was great company to be with and was as sharp as a pin.

“He was extremely fit and most people took him for a healthy 70-year-old. Having looked after mum who had extreme dementia, and who we lost last September, he was finally getting his life back.”

Gavin Collins court case
Terry Radford was standing at a bus stop in Mansfield Woodhouse (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)

Detective Inspector Becky Hodgman said: “This is a tragic set of circumstances that has obviously had a devastating and profound impact on Mr Radford’s family and friends.

“Our thoughts continue to be with them at this extremely difficult time as well as with those people affected by Collins’ actions that day.

“I would like to thank the officers and emergency services staff who responded to this incident and the team that subsequently worked thoroughly and professionally on a difficult investigation in order to secure this result at court today.”

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