‘Our family’s life has been ruined’

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The daughter of a man killed by a driver who was high on drugs has said her father’s killer is “an idiot”.

Paul Gordon, 46, from Leighton Buzzard, died when his car was hit by Paul Fletcher’s out-of-control vehicle in Ledburn in December 2012.

On Friday, Fletcher, from Wingrave, was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving while unfit through drugs.

Mr Gordon’s daughter Zoe Gordon, 22, said: “No sentence will ever be enough because it won’t bring our dad back but at least he is behind bars. He changed his plea to guilty just before the trial so got a third off the sentence.

“His defence said he was full of remorse but he has messed us around the whole time, changing his plea at the last minute. He dragged it out, that doesn’t show remorse.

“The defence talked about how he is such a good person and a saint and that was hard to listen to because he wasn’t. He was on drugs and driving.

“This is the effects of taking drugs and getting in a car. You’re ruining your own life as well as a whole family’s life.”

Mr Gordon leaves behind his partner of 15 years, Dionne Justice, and five children; Christopher (25), Zoe, Rebecca (15), Ashleigh (14) and Liam, who is just seven.

Zoe said: “Liam keeps asking where his dad is and why it had to be his dad that died. It’s horrific.

“Christopher lives in Australia and was due to fly out the week after my dad was killed. He hadn’t seen him for a year and a half before that.”

Miss Justice was in an Audi A4 being towed by Mr Gordon in his Volkswagon Polo when the accident happened.

She received serious leg injuries and was flown by air ambulance to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridgeshire for treatment.

She has since made a full recovery.

Zoe said the judge stressed that neither her father nor her step-mother had done anything wrong at all when they were driving.

Fletcher lost control of his Honda Accord as he rounded a bend in Manor Farm Lane in Ledburn.

He collided with a JCB Fastrack tractor, which was travelling in the opposite direction, then collided with the Polo and Audi, which were travelling in the same direction as the tractor.

Fletcher was only banned from driving in January so the Gordon family were constantly worried he could be on the road anywhere.

Zoe said: “I hate him. How stupid are you to take Class A drugs and get in a car and drive? He has two young kids as well. He is an idiot. By the sounds of it his kids would be better off without him but my family are not better off without our dad.”

Zoe said the sentence has given them some closure and that they can rest at night now Fletcher is behind bars.

She said: “My step-mum and I are closer than ever before and have been keeping each other strong. Because they weren’t married and my dad didn’t have a will I have had to take responsibility for his estate which has been really stressful on top of the grief.

“My dad was the life and soul of the party. He was bubbly, fun-loving and quite a clever man. He could tell you things that you never knew about. Everyone he knew loved him and he is sorely missed.”