Chesterfield pensioner found not guilty of murder

A Chesterfield pensioner who mowed down and killed a man in his car has been found guilty of causing death by careless driving.

By Tim Cunningham
Friday, 26th February 2021, 4:34 pm
Updated Friday, 26th February 2021, 6:06 pm

John Hodgkiss accelerated towards Andrew Thorpe and sent him flying over his car, hitting his head and causing the catastrophic head injuries that killed the 32-year-old, Derby Crown Court heard.

The jury in a two -week trial found Hodgkiss not guilty of murder at 2.55pm today.

The 68-year-old denied both murder and a second, alternative, count of causing death by dangerous driving.

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Derby Crown Court

William Harbage QC said the incident happened moments after midnight, on July 26, 2019, on Rotherham Road, Clowne, just around the corner from the defendant’s home in Barlborough Road.

Mr Thorpe died six days later and Hodgkiss was charged with his murder.

The trial heard how Hodgkiss’ son Shane Hodgkiss had been in a relationship with Mr Thorpe’s younger sister, Amy Thorpe, which ended “acrimoniously”.

There had been “allegations and counter allegations” between them, he added, which caused “bad blood” between the two families.

Mr Harbage said one argument between them was the ownership of a small trailer.

He said Amy Thorpe had sold that to her brother Andrew Thorpe for £100 and that caused further “ill-feeling” between the two families.

Mr Harbage said on the evening of July 25, Mr Thorpe had decided he’d “had enough” and called his brother Nicholas Thorpe and the two of them pushed it back towards the home of Hodgkiss.

No date was set for the sentencing. You can read how the Derbyshire Times covered the case here and here.

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