You ruined two lives, judge tells offender

A TODMORDEN man has been jailed for three-and-a-half years after a judge said he had ruined the lives of two men.

Saturday, 10th December 2011, 2:42 pm

Prolific offender Timothy Butterworth, 25, was locked up this week after he caused a head-on crash with a taxi and later attacked a would-be soldier in a local pub.

The two offences were separated by just a couple of weeks and Judge Jonathan Rose was told that the complainants had both suffered difficulties with their employment as a result.

Cabbie Shamraiz Iqbal had been carrying two passengers along Rochdale Road in October last year when a stolen Honda Civic being driven by Butterworth crashed into his vehicle on a bridge.

Mr Iqbal and one of his passengers were taken to hospital but fortunately neither suffered any serious injury.

Butterworth, who had previous convictions including dangerous driving, wounding and attempted robbery, ran from the scene, but he was later found by police on the roof of a house in Eagle Street clinging to a chimney pot in the early hours.

Prosecutor Hilary Manley told Bradford Crown Court that Mr Iqbal had since ceased working as a cabbie as a result of the incident.

Later that same month Butterworth was involved in a disturbance outside the Golden Lion pub and after he had been struck with a glass he followed Gareth Shiels into the toilet area of the premises.

The court heard that Butterworth had gone into the toilets to clean himself up, but during an assault on Mr Shiels he punched him in the face fracturing his jaw in two places.

Miss Manley said the complainant had to have four screws put in his jaw during an operation and they were not removed until February this year.

She said Mr Shiels, who had been hoping to join the army, lost a lot of weight because he couldn’t eat properly and his fitness levels had also suffered.

Miss Manley said his application to join the army was delayed and he felt “devastated” about not being able to go through the application process sooner.

“He really feels his life has been put on hold,” said Miss Manley.

The court that Butterworth, of Dineley Avenue, Todmorden, already had 36 convictions for 85 offences on his record and had previously been jailed for three-and-a-half years for attempted robbery in 2007.

Barrister Gerald Hendron conceded that his client had an unenviable record, but he argued that since Butterworth started a relationship in April there had been a “groundswell” change in his lifestyle.

Mr Hendron said Butterworth had not reverted to the use of Class A drugs and had applied for a college course in mechanics.

Butterworth, who admitted offences of dangerous driving and unlawful wounding, was told by Judge Rose that he had an appalling record.

The judge accepted that there had been a transformation in Butterworth’s life, but he noted that had taken place at a time when the lives of two other men had been ruined by him.

Judge Rose said the collision involving Mr Iqbal’s vehicle had mercifully not caused any serious physical injury, but the psychological damage meant he could not longer work as a taxi driver.

Butterworth’s second offence was committed while he was on bail and the judge said it was now in the balance as to whether Mr Shiels would be able to pursue his chosen career in the armed forces.

Butterworth was jailed for 18 months for the offence of dangerous driving and banned from driving for three years.

The judge said he would also have to take an extended driving test at the end of the ban.

For the attack on Mr Shiels the defendant was jailed for an additional two years.