Driver who killed woman in 140mph road race appeals for licence back

John Gribben was jailed for six years after being convicted of causing Joan Price's death by dangerous driving.

Driver who killed much-loved grandmother in 140mph road race appeals for licence back Police Scotland

A driver guilty of the death of a much-loved grandmother after racing at up to 140mph has failed in a bid to get his licence back early.

John Gribben, 26, was back in the dock at the High Court in Glasgow having been jailed for six years there in 2018.

Gribben was behind the wheel of an Audi A3 when he and Logan Knox sped along the A77 near Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire before tragedy struck in January 2017.

Joan Price had been returning from brass band practice with a friend when Knox lost control of his powerful Volkswagen Golf GTI ploughing head on into the 59-year-old’s Nissan Pulsar.

The mum-of-three – a support worker – died instantly.

Gribben was convicted of causing Joan’s death by dangerous driving for his part in what happened.

He was also guilty of further high speed driving just two months after the fatal crash.

Prosecutors described how Gribben had used “Ayrshire road as a racetrack”.

As well as the jail-term, Judge Sean Murphy KC also banned him from the road for 12 years.

Gribben, of Ayr, returned to court aiming to cut the disqualification six years early.

His lawyer Bob Mitchell said he was “a different man” – which included donating his kidney to his sick mother, had stayed out of trouble since being freed early from prison and had set up his own business.

The prosecution had opposed the bid for Gribben to try and get his licence back meantime.

Giving his verdict, Judge Murphy told Gribben: “The offences here are amongst the worst I have seen in my career

“I have no doubt whatsoever that, in most other areas, you are a young man with a commendable character.”

He said he had to consider all the circumstances including Gribben’s dangerous driving even after Joan’s death.

The judge said: “In my view, it would not be appropriate to restore the licence at this time, so, therefore, the application is refused.”

Joan, of Troon, Ayrshire, was described after the 2018 trial as a “much-loved wife, mother and gran”.

She had been married to her husband Colin for 26 years. He had to call each of their daughters in turn to tell them their mum had been killed.

The death was described as having a “profound effect” on the family.

Joan’s friend Gillian Kay, then 40, was also left badly hurt in the crash.

Knox was jailed for five years and four months in 2017 after he pleaded guilty to the same crime as Gribben at a separate hearing.

Gribben had pinned the blame on him at his trial.

His lawyer Mr Mitchell confirmed Gribben had been freed from his six year sentence early on December 23 2021.

He then wore an electronic tag for two months.

Mr Mitchell said Gribben “understood” the impact of Joan’s death in what was an “extremely serious” offence.

The solicitor advocate told the hearing the application was not being made purely to help Gribben in his job although not being able to drive has “made it more difficult”.

Mr Mitchell added: “He was 19 at the time, he is now 26.

“There is a great difference from 19 to someone over 25. It seems that this is a very different man.

“The information we have is that it is extremely unlikely that he will come before the courts again, certainly not for a matter such as this.”

If Judge Murphy had granted the application, Gribben would have first had to sit and pass an extended driving test.

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