Man admits mowing down 'love rival'
A 51-year-old man who used his car to mow down and kill his perceived love rival in a park has been jailed for nine years after admitting manslaughter.
Malcolm Parkes pleaded guilty to killing father-of-two David Powell by deliberately driving his car at him, as Mr Powell walked arm in arm with Parkes's wife near his Birmingham home.
He admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, as he was diagnosed with depression after the onset of a muscle-wasting disease.
Mr Powell was knocked on to the windscreen of Parkes's Vauxhall Astra car and sent flying into the air. Parkes, of Arthur Road, Tipton, had been travelling between 27mph and 34mph at the time of impact.
Mr Powell, 58, suffered multiple skull fractures, a cracked spine and 17 broken ribs in the collision in September last year. As Jane Parkes lay cowering in the undergrowth with the family's pet dog, her husband came to a halt and said to her: "I hope you're feeling happy now - you deserved that."
In 2011, Mrs Parkes rekindled an old friendship with Mr Powell and their relationship was no secret to Parkes, according to Mr O'Brien-Quinn. At times, Parkes seemed to give the friendship his blessing but he also told his eldest son: "If I catch her cheating on me with him, I'll kill him," Hugh O'Brien-Quinn, prosecuting, told Warwick Crown Court.
On the morning of September 5 2012, Mrs Parkes had left a set of keys in Mr Powell's car so he drove to the house in Arthur Road to give them back. Mr O'Brien-Quinn said: "Mrs Parkes and Mr Powell then agreed to meet around the corner, and that was overheard by Mr Parkes." He followed in his car.
"As he drove he saw his wife and Mr Powell and accelerated towards them," said Mr O'Brien-Quinn. "Mrs Parkes heard the car, turned to look back and saw it approaching at speed. She ran off the path going to her left and Mr Powell went right and on to the grass. Mr Parkes went straight into him, throwing Mr Powell into the air."
In mitigation, defence counsel Rachel Brand argued that Parkes was suffering from depression. She said her client "will not recover from the sense of guilt he feels at having killed a good man". However, she said Parkes was "also a good and decent man" who, unhappy at the thought of the affair, had "a sudden loss of self control".
Sentencing, Judge John Wait told Parkes: "But for the abnormality of mental function identified by the doctors, this would have been a clear case of murder." He said the diagnosis of depression had "significantly" affected Parkes's judgment, "but not the fact you knew what you were doing was wrong".
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