A FATHER who killed his daughter and attempted to murder his son by driving them into the River Avon has been jailed for life with a minimum sentence of 15 years.
Chris Grady, of no fixed address, was convicted by a majority verdict at Birmingham Crown Court and sentenced on Tuesday (March 22) at the end of a three week trial.
The judge, Mr Justice Lindblom, told the 43-year-old he must serve at least 15 years for the murder of five-year-old Gabby Grady and ten years to run concurrently for the attempted murder of Ryan Grady who was six at the time of last February’s ordeal at Hampton Ferry in Evesham when he drove his car into the freezing river.
Grady has already spent 402 days in custody and this will be deducted from the sentence.
On passing sentence Mr Justice Lindblom said what Grady did would horrify any right-thinking person and had put his defenceless children, who were screaming and crying, in terror.
“Those crimes were born of anger and self-pity,” he said.
“In all of this, Ryan and Gabby were innocent. They were your children, they loved you. They looked to you for protection and support.”
During the trial, jurors heard that Grady had warned the children’s mother, Kim Smith, she had 10 seconds to say goodbye to them before he drove into the water at Hampton Ferry.
Miss Smith, 37, said he arrived at her house in Abbot’s Walk, Evesham, at around 9.15am, telling her to say goodbye, before driving away shouting the word river.
She said his face was contorted and vile with anger.
Grady had denied the charges saying it was an accident but the jury took five hours to find Grady guilty of both counts.
After Grady was led away from the court the judge offered his condolences to Miss Smith.
He said: “I turn to the family and in particular Miss Smith and Ryan (who was not in court).
“I offer them my own sympathy in their loss and I hope that the pain of that loss may now be easier to bear.
“You took from Miss Smith her daughter, and from Ryan his sister. You left your family to grieve.
“She says that what you did has shattered everyone in her family.
“She says that what they go through every day is like a recurring nightmare.’’
For more reaction to the Grady sentencing turn to page 3.