A LOVING father-of-three girls died tragically when a man trying to kill himself hit him in a head-on collision on the M4.

Kirk Butcher, 45, from Ebbw Vale, was driving home from a 12-hour shift in the early hours of the morning when Thomas Hughes crashed into him.

At Cardiff Crown Court, Hughes, 23, admitted causing the family man’s death by dangerous driving at 3.30am on Sunday, April 5, near Junction 25A, in Newport.

At an earlier hearing at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court, it emerged he had tried to kill himself in a Mercedes Sprinter van on another road.


Rob Simpkins, prosecuting, said the defendant told police he was “feeling suicidal” and attempted to crash into a lamppost at 100mph.

But Hughes’ vehicle left the A4042, near the Sainsbury’s supermarket, and careered down the slip road and on to the M4 before it ploughed into Mr Butcher’s Nissan Micra.

The defendant, of St Dials Court, Oak Street, Cwmbran, also admitted failing to stop.

South Wales Argus:

Popular family man Kirk Butcher. Picture: Butcher family

Owen Williams, representing Hughes, asked for his client’s sentence to be adjourned for the preparation of a psychiatric report.

Judge Richard Twomlow put the matter back to July 17 and said: “This is a very sad case, but the defendant should be aware that the inevitable outcome will be a lengthy prison sentence.”

Hughes, who appeared in court via video link from Cardiff Prison, was remanded in custody.

Mr Butcher had trained as a builder but he had been working at the time at the Tesco depot in Magor as a warehouseman.

He had been making his way home after he had just finished a 3pm to 3am shift when he was killed.

Mr Butcher was married to Janet and had three daughters, Monica, 10, Isabel, 12 and Liela, 13.

After his death, his family released a statement which read: “Kirk was a fun-loving husband, father, son and brother.

"Kirk was a dad of three girls which he adored. He was a family man who lived his life to the fullest, often enjoying nights out with his wife Janet, and family.

"Kirk was a builder by trade, so he had a wide circle of friends, he was kind and supportive and could always put a smile on your face.

"He will be sadly missed by all that knew him.

"As a family we would like to thank all friends that have sent wishes and would respectfully request time to grieve.”