A LEARNER driver who unlawfully killed a deaf shopper at a Sainsbury’s car park in a road rage attack has been jailed.

Timothy Higgins, 22, was sentenced to a five-year prison term after a jury found him guilty of the manslaughter of pedestrian Christopher Gadd.

The 48-year-old farmer suffered “massive damage to the skull” in the car park of the Sainsbury’s supermarket in Pontllanfraith earlier this year.

South Wales Argus:

Christopher Gadd

Higgins, formerly of The Glade, Wyllie, Blackwood, had denied the charges.

Prosecutor Owen Williams told the jury at Cardiff Crown Court during the trial the defendant deliberately swerved his Land Rover Freelander into the victim the day after he celebrated his 48th birthday.

Jailing Higgins, the Recorder of Cardiff, Judge Eleri Rees, said: “You deliberately swerved your car over to the wrong side of the road, in your words, to s*** him up.

"The result was catastrophic.

“This was an impulsive and stupid act that was wholly disproportionate.

South Wales Argus:

Timothy Higgins during his trial. Picture: Press Association

“A trivial parking dispute should not have ended in the tragic death of a man."

The judge added: “You have an immature personality.”

Giving evidence in his own defence, Higgins denied he had deliberately swerved the 4x4 into the victim and told the jury he had been “scared” of Mr Gadd after a confrontation at the Sainsbury’s car park on March 4.

He told of how he was frightened after an exchange with him and his brother Paul, who was driving a Volkswagen Passat, after he initially had been unable to reverse out of a space.

Paul Lewis QC, mitigating, said: “There was no intention to cause any harm.”

He added: “The defendant was pursued through the car park by the deceased.”

Mr Lewis added that his client, a young father, was a man of previous good character.

The defendant was also convicted of causing his death while driving without insurance and otherwise than in accordance with a licence.

He was banned from driving for four-and-a-half years and must pay a surcharge upon his release from jail.

Outside the court, Detective Inspector Ian Bartholomew, from Gwent Police, said: “Our thoughts remain with the family of Christopher Gadd.

"I would like to thank the family, witnesses and the wider-community for their assistance during the investigation and subsequent court proceedings.”