Todmorden thug ruined lives of two people

Timothy Butterworth, sentenced at Bradford Crown Court
Timothy Butterworth, sentenced at Bradford Crown Court

A CRIMINAL who ruined the lives of two people was in jail today at the start of a three-and-a-half year term.

Serial offender Timothy Butterworth, 25, smashed a stolen car into a moving taxi.

Two weeks later he broke the jaw of a prospective soldier. A court heard that cabbie Shamraiz Iqbal suffered such pychological harm in the crash he could no longer run a taxi business.

And Army hopeful Gareth Shiels, who needed four screws in his jaw, has now had to put his army career on hold.

The court was told Butterworth, of Dineley Avenue, Todmorden, already had 36 convictions for 85 offences.

Judge Jonathan Rose said he had ruined the lives of two men and had an appalling record.

Bradford Crown Court was told Mr Iqbal was carrying two passengers along Rochdale Road, Todmorden, in October 2010 when Butterworth, in a stolen Honda Civic, crashed into him.

Luckily Mr Iqbal and one of his passengers escaped serious injury but both were taken to hospital.

Butterworth ran from the scene and was later found by police on a house roof in Eagle Street, clinging to a chimney pot on a house in Eagle Street.

Prosecutor Hilary Manley told Bradford Crown Court Mr Iqbal had since stopped being a cabbie as a result of the incident.

Just two weeks later Butterworth was involved in a disturbance outside the Golden Lion pub. He had been struck with a glass and then followed Gareth Shiels into the toilets.

He went into the toilets and punched Mr Shiels in the face, fracturing his jaw in two places.

Mr Shiels, who had been plannig to enter the army, needed four screws in his jaw.

His army application had been delayed.

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

The court that Butterworth 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 admitted his client had an unenviable record. 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 said he had ruined the lives of two other men.

Judge Rose said although the collision involving Mr Iqbal’s vehicle had not caused any serious physical injury, the psychological damage meant he could not longer work as a taxi driver and it was in the balance if Mr Shiels would be able to pursue his chosen career in the armed forces.

He was jailed for 18 months for dangerous driving and banned from driving for three years. He was given another two years for the attack on Mr Sheils.