A learner driver who killed a farmer by swerving and hitting him with his 4×4 has been found guilty of manslaughter.
Timothy Higgins, 22, of The Glade, in Wyllie, denied deliberately swerving to hit Christopher Gadd, 48, in Sainsbury’s car park in Pontllanfraith on 4 March.
But a jury sitting at Cardiff Crown found him guilty of manslaughter as well as guilty of causing death while driving without a licence and insurance.
Speaking after the case, the CPS said Higgins had used the vehicle “as a weapon”.
Higgins was found guilty on Tuesday, November 5, after a two-week trial. He is due to be sentenced on Friday, November 8.
Christopher Gadd died just a day after his 48th birthday after being struck by the blue Land Rover.
Farmer Christopher and his brother Paul were on a routine shopping trip to the store when there was an alleged row over a space in the store car park.
Cardiff Crown Court was told how Higgins “swerved” into Christopher Gadd after losing his temper after the car he was in was “blocked” by Mr Gadd’s car.
After showing Mr Gadd a v-sign during the row, the court heard how Higgins drove off to another part of the car park and Mr Gadd followed on foot.
Higgins said he had locked the doors of his Land Rover Freelander because he was “scared”.
Mr Gadd’s brother told the court he had then seen Higgins swerve, hitting his brother and sending him “flying”.
Moments after, Higgins had said: “My life is over. I’ve killed him, haven’t I?”
In police interviews, Higgins initially claimed he drove in a straight line, but later admitted that he did swerve.
However, the court was told how Higgins subsequently claimed the interview was not a true admission of what happened.
Following the guilty verdict, as Higgins was being led away, he looked at his family and said: “Can you believe that? That’s absolutely disgusting”.
Lisa Bennett, a senior prosecutor with the CPS, said: “Timothy Higgins used the vehicle as a weapon, deliberately swerving towards another person.
“His irresponsible driving has caused a tragic loss of life which could easily have been avoided.
“This case serves as a reminder to all motorists how even low speed collisions can have devastating consequences.
“We hope that the conviction can bring some comfort to Mr Gadd’s friends and family, who remain in our thoughts.”
In a statement following the trial, Mr Gadd’s family said Higgins had shown a lack of remorse.
They said: “We will now be able to grieve for our brother.
“Christopher was the best friend and brother as could have asked for and we will continue to miss him every day.”