Mum killed when supermarket lift turned into bus chase

Kelly Gliddon

image copyrightFamily Handout

image captionKelly Gliddon’s son told the court his and his brother’s worlds had fallen apart since she died

A mother-of-two was killed in a head-on crash when the man giving her a lift to a supermarket instead set off on a high-speed pursuit of a bus.

Paul Snowdon started chasing the vehicle after an argument with one of its passengers at a bus stop.

Kelly Gliddon, 41, and her partner Robert Harding pleaded with him to slow down but he ignored them – and sniffed butane gas during the journey.

Snowdon, 38, of Torrington, Devon, was jailed for six years and eight months.

He admitted causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving.

Judge Peter Johnson said Snowdon was guilty of the “most serious” form of causing death by dangerous driving.

Exeter Crown Court heard Ms Gliddon and Mr Harding got into his car in Torrington for a short journey.

But Snowdon changed his route after having a confrontation with a man in Torrington who boarded a bus to Bideford.

He had just overtaken the bus when he crashed on 9 May.

image copyrightDevon and Cornwall Police
image captionRichard Crabb, defending, said Snowdon denies sniffing butane but has no memory of the day of the crash

The court heard he overtook on blind bends and drove at speeds of up to 90mph before hitting a car head-on, causing serious injuries to driver Christine Gardner and her 89-year-old mother.

Joss Ticehurst, prosecuting, said Snowdon, who had two previous convictions for drink driving, tried to claim Mr Harding was the driver but had to admit the truth when police found his DNA on the driver’s airbag.

Mr Ticehurst said Mr Harding saw him sniffing butane during the journey and the empty canister was found in the wreckage of the car.

Sentencing Snowdon, Judge Johnson said he had driven with “stupid and reckless disregard for the safety of your passengers and anyone else on the A386”.

In a victim impact statement, Ms Gliddon’s 15-year-old son said: “My brother’s and my world have fallen apart since Mum died.

“We only have memories and photos.

“My brother breaks down in tears all the time.”

Related Topics

  • Bideford

  • Great Torrington

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