Wednesday, 21 Oct 2020

Row over damage to van ended with ‘dad being stabbed to death in the street’

A young dad was senselessly killed by a mum after a roadside row escalated into a fist fight and knife attack.

Kelly Gray, 32, has been jailed for 10 years after she fatally stabbed 23-year-old David Gavin in the neck in Rochdale, Manchester.

A court was told Gray believed her family was in “grave danger” before she wielded a kitchen knife and launched an attack.

It followed an argument over a kitchen fitter's van which descended into a mass brawl, with fighters using an axe and a sledgehammer.

The kitchen fitter had been working at Mr Gavin's house when he was told of the damage.

Mr Gavin believed the Gray family were responsible and a fight broke out after he confronted them, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Kelly Gray arrived at the scene shortly after, running towards the brawl armed with a knife and stabbing Mr Gavin once to the neck.

He was pronounced dead in hospital about 90 minutes later, on May 17 last year.

Kelly Gray then cowardly fled to Ireland, and was only caught three months later after a European Arrest Warrant had been issued.

Mr Gavin died just weeks before his second child was born, with his grieving wife giving birth at the same hospital where her husband passed away.

His family told of their 'bittersweet' experience following the birth, and how Mr Gavin's older daughter asks them when her daddy is coming home.

Gray was originally accused of murder, but prosecutors accepted her plea to manslaughter on the grounds of a loss of control.

Doctors said that at the time she was suffering from mental health problems, including post traumatic stress disorder.

A court was told Gray, a mother-of-four, was 'having visions of her family being hurt and killed', and doctors said it is 'very possible that her perception of the situation was not entirely in keeping with reality'.

Sentencing, Judge Patrick Field QC said it was a 'particularly serious' case of manslaughter.

  • Government spent £2.2million on ventilators NHS said were unsafe during pandemic

"He (Mr Gavin) was a hard working man, with a good future to look forward to.

"His death is nothing short of a tragedy for the family he leaves behind.

"Their sense of loss and devastation is palpable.

"I understand of course that no sentence I can pass can assuage their loss.

"The sentence is not intended to be the measure of anybody's life."

Manchester Crown Court heard that Mr Gavin, a talented boxer, lived in Rochdale and ran a business called Greater Manchester Driveways and Patios.

  • Turkey latest addition to UK quarantine 'red list' as Covid causes more travel misery

On May 17 he was having work done to his kitchen, and a van belonging to the workman was parked outside his house.

He noticed the van had been damaged, and it appeared if someone had used a crowbar to prize open a window frame, prosecutor Nick Johnson QC said.

The worker had replacement glass which was used to fix the damage, and he paid £25 in labour costs to have it fixed.

Mr Gavin promised to pay back the cash.

A neighbour told him that he had seen a man get out of a Ford Focus and cause the damage.

  • 'Crazed' murder accused 'stabbed couple because he thought he was playing Fortnite'

After making 'enquiries', Mr Gavin was led to Berwick Street in Rochdale, where they saw a Ford Focus.

He and another man went there but were confronted by a group of men, and they left.

Later that day, Mr Gavin returned to the street after a friend collected CCTV footage of the Focus.

A friend began to take photos of the car, when a man approached them and shouted 'f* off, why are you here?'

He was ordered to delete the photos, and they left.

Mr Johnson said: "David Gavin wanted the Gray family to pay for the damage.

"He was also worried they would keep coming back to steal unless they were confronted."

Mr Gavin returned later that evening in a car with two other men, and his father arrived in another vehicle.

A confrontation ensued just before 9pm, with both sides holding weapons including a sledgehammer, a machete and an axe.

A brother of Kelly Gray agreed to have a 'fist fight' with Mr Gavin, and the brawl stopped after the man 'had had enough'.

  • Prince Harry says 'the world was created for white people' as he talks structural racism

Kelly Gray arrived at the scene soon after, with her two children and her mother, as two other men had already started fighting.

It's unclear where she got the weapon from, but Kelly Gray was seen brandishing a 'large kitchen knife'.

The judge ruled she came to 'join the disturbance', and 'not to break it up'.

Prosecutors claimed she was encouraging the fracas, but Gray's lawyers denied this.

Then she and some other women began to run towards the fight, with Gray holding the knife in her left hand.

Another man claimed Gray headbutted him, before she stabbed Mr Gavin to the neck.

"The b** has stabbed me," he said, before an ambulance was called.

Gray then left the scene, telling a neighbour who was in a car 'I need to get my baby, get me to my f** baby'.

He took her back to her home a short distance away.

  • TikTok star burned alive by ex-husband during livestream as fans hear chilling screams

After being rushed to the Royal Oldham Hospital, doctors found Mr Gavin's injuries were non-survivable. He was declared dead at 10.25pm.

The knife used to kill Mr Gavin was not recovered.

Kelly Gray and other members of the family made a 'swift exit', the court heard, leaving for Ireland.

Some took a ferry from Holyhead to Dublin in the early hours of May 19.

It's not clear whether Kelly Gray was on that ferry, but she was found in Ireland on August 26, and brought back to the UK to face justice.

Mr Gavin's mother Elizabeth paid tribute to her son, describing him as a 'kind' and 'thoughtful' person.

She said: "We will never get over this tragedy. David was like a friend to his father Martin, they spent so much time together.

"His daughter Elizabeth has been having nightmares and misses her daddy terribly, she asks when he is coming back.

"How are we supposed to answer this?"

Mr Gavin's wife Bridget said they never got to enjoy the dream of family life together in their new home.

Prosecutors said five medical experts, including psychiatrists and psychologists, all concluded Gray was suffering from a significant post traumatic stress disorder at the time.

This could have caused her to 'genuinely perceive events which were not in fact happening', the court heard.

Defending, Nina Grahame QC said Gray was 'in fear' when she arrived at the scene, and was acting 'protectively' to her family.

"She wishes me to say on her behalf, her remorse is genuine, and it is at times overwhelming to her," Ms Grahame said.

Source: Read Full Article

Related Posts