Derbyshire pensioner mowed down another man in 'moment of rage' - murder trial told
The murder trial is set to continue today (Thursday, February 11) in the case of a Derbyshire pensioner accused of murdering another man by deliberately running him over in his car.
John Hodgkiss accelerated towards Andrew Thorpe, sending him flying over his car, a jury at Derby Crown Court has heard.
Mr Thorpe, 32, then hit his head, causing the catastrophic injuries that killed him six days later.
The court heard how there had been ongoing “bad blood” between the two families following the breakdown of a relationship between one from each side.
The 68-year-old denies both murder and a second, alternative, count of causing death by dangerous driving, following the incident in Clowne just after midnight on July 26, 2019.
Prosecuting on the first day of the trial on Wednesday, February 10, William Harbage QC told the court: “The prosecution say that in a moment of rage the defendant drove his car at Andrew Thorpe deliberately and ran him over.
“The defence say this was all some terrible accident. That’s the case.”
He told the court how Hodgkiss’ son Shane Hodgkiss had been in a relationship with Mr Thorpe’s younger sister, Amy Thorpe, which had ended “acrimoniously” and there had been “allegations and counter allegations” between them which caused the “bad blood” between the two families.
One argument between the families was the ownership of a small trailer, which Amy Thorpe had sold to her brother for £100, causing ill-feeling between the two families, the court heard.
And on the evening of July 25, 2019, Mr Thorpe decided he’s “had enough” and had called his brother Nicholas Thorpe, and the two of them pushed the trailer back towards Hodgkiss home, in Barlborough Road.
Hodgkiss’ son, Shane Hodgkiss, had been driving around the village and passed the brothers before parking close to his father’s house.
Mr Harbage said: “Shane Hodgkiss pushed Andrew Thorpe’s buttons and as a result Andrew Thorpe lost his cool and started damaging the trailer and abandoned it in a field. They then walked into a jitty at the back of the defendant’s house.
“Shane left his car nearby and saw the Thorpe’s coming in the opposite direction. Andrew started to chase Shane, but Shane got away and hid somewhere.”
He told the court Andrew Thorpe then saw Shane Hodgkiss’ car and started to kick at the wing mirrors and damage it.
There had then been a six-minute phone call between Shane Hodgkiss and his father, who came out of his house, got into his Peugeot 407 and drove in the direction of where the collision was to take place.
Mr Harbage said: “Nicholas Thorpe will tell you that he saw the defendant put his foot down and drive directly at his brother.
“He ran him down deliberately, he must have known exactly what he was doing.”
The accident took place on Rotherham Road, Clowne, just around the corner from the defendant’s home in Barlborough Road.
The jury has not yet returned to court for the second day of the trial, while counsel resolved legal issues, but proceedings are expected to resume later today.