Doncaster thug who killed pensioner in unprovoked road rage attack is jailed

A “large and powerful” Doncaster man who caused the death of a pensioner by violently shoving him to the ground in an unprovoked road rage attack has been jailed.

By Darren Burke
Friday, 22nd July 2022, 2:11 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd July 2022, 2:11 pm

Neil Robinson fell backwards and hit his head after being attacked by 39-year-old James Gill in a "road rage" incident in Chilwell, Nottinghamshire last year.

The much-loved grandfather sustained a fractured skull and died in hospital six days later.

Gill appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing, having previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

James Gill has been jailed for nearly ten years following the attack.

He also admitted to a string of other charges committed following the incident which was described by a judge as a “catalogue of carnage” in the hours following his attack on Mr Robinson on 16 December last year.

The court heard Gill – a heavy drinker and cocaine user – was driving along Ranson Road, Chilwell, when he became irritated at Mr Robinson, who was harmlessly crossing the road.

Gill then got out of his car and shouted at the 75-year-old, before shoving him so hard in the chest that it knocked him backwards.

Mr Robinson was taken to Queen’s Medical Centre but his condition deteriorated and he sadly passed away just days before Christmas.

The hearing heard from Mr Robinson’s son, who prepared a victim impact statement ahead of sentencing.

The statement read: “My father’s death has affected me deeply. I still find his death senseless; I literally can’t make sense of the fact he is no longer here. I miss him so much.”

The court heard that after shoving Mr Robinson to the ground, Gill drove to a nearby Lidl store and stole vodka, Ribena and chocolate.

A short time later he committed a further offence in Stapleford Lane, Toton, where a mother and daughter pulled up at traffic lights next to him and challenged him about a glass bottle he had thrown out of his car and smashed against a wall.

Gill then pulled his car in front of theirs blocking their way and making threats to set fire to their car. When another driver stopped his car and suggested Gill move his car out of the way and that he should not have thrown the bottle, Gill went over to the driver and punched him several times.

Later that same day, whilst driving along Adwick Lane in Toll Bar, Doncaster, Gill drove his car into the back of two cars, causing minor injuries to the drivers.

He was then stopped by police and arrested – but still his offending continued. Gill went on to assault the arresting officers after he failed a breath test showing he was more than double the drink-drive limit.

The court heard he also failed to pay for £40 fuel and a bottles of beer after stopping at a service station.

As well as the manslaughter charge, he pleaded guilty to three counts of assault causing actual bodily harm, drink-driving and two counts of theft.

Sentencing him to 10 years and nine months – including nine years for the manslaughter – Judge Rafferty told Gill he was a “large and powerful man” who had attacked a “vulnerable, elderly victim who posed no threat to you at all”.

As well as the jail sentence, the judge banned Gill, of Station Road, Arksey, Doncaster, from the roads for five years – effective from the time he is released on license from prison.

Detective Inspector Steve Wragg, of Nottinghamshire Police, said it was a desperately sad case.

Speaking following the sentencing, he said: “Gill’s attack on Mr Robinson was cowardly and completely unprovoked. It cost an innocent man his life and left a family completely devastated.

“Of course, no sentence imposed today could put things right and my thoughts remain with Mr Robinson's family at what continues to be an extremely painful time for them.

“I hope they take some comfort in knowing Gill is no longer able to harm other innocent people.

“As alluded to by the judge, the attack on Mr Robinson was one of a catalogue of appalling incidents Gill committed that day. His actions were simply inexcusable and I am glad he will be in prison for a long time.

“It is right that he is now being punished for what he did and I hope he uses his time in prison to reflect on the harm he has caused."