22nd Oct, 2017

'Self-centred coward' who left Gina Johnson dead in car found guilty

Coventry Editorial 15th Sep, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A DEVASTATED husband has hit out at the ‘selfish, self-centred coward’ who looked into his wife’s car after ploughing into it at high speed and then fled from the scene.

And a jury at Warwick Crown Court heard that by leaving Gina Johnson dead in her car which then burst into flames, callous Nicky Gosal had robbed her of her wish to be an organ donor.

The jury, some of them in tears as distraught Philip Johnson read out his statement, took just 58 minutes to find Gosal guilty of causing Gina’s death by dangerous driving.

He had denied the charge, although he had admitted less serious offences of causing 44-year-old Gina’s death in December last year by driving while disqualified and without insurance.

Gosal (27) of Sunbury Court, Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, but who also had a flat in Winsford Avenue, Coventry, was jailed for eight years and banned from driving for ten years.

The court had heard that Gina, from Meriden, was making a right turn out of Washbrook Lane, Coventry, at just after 7am when her Smart car was hit by Gosal driving his girlfriend’s powerful Mercedes SLK 250 AMG Sport and thrown back up the road.

Prosecutor Malcolm Morse said: “Georgina Johnson, as a kind of mercy, was killed outright by multiple injuries sustained in the crash.

“The car she was driving caught fire, but she was dead before the fire.  It’s not much of a mercy, but it is a mercy.”

Gosal had been driving the Mercedes, which had a top speed of 150 and could go from 0 to 60 in just 6.75 seconds, along Windmill Hill towards Browns Lane at 50mph.

“The defendant says Georgina Johnson pulled out in front of him.  She undoubtedly did.  But much as he’d like to blame the whole occurrence on her having done so, it’s not as simple as that.

“Had he been driving at anything like the speed limit, she would have made it to her proper side of the main road safely.  He says he was driving at less than 30; we say that simply can’t be true.”

The Mercedes hit the Smart car in a ‘pretty much head-on’ collision, shunting the smaller car backwards a number of metres and sending debris flying along Browns Lane and into Butts Lane.

The Mercedes then veered across the road and hit a wall in Butt Lane before spinning back into Windmill Hill.

Gosal got out, went over to the Smart car and saw Gina, who was already dead, inside – and ran off back to his girlfriend Amy Hall’s home before later making his way to Coventry railway station where he was arrested.

After he fled, the Smart car burst into flames, probably as a result petrol vapour from it being ignited by a spark from the electrical system.

After the jury returned its guilty verdict, but cleared him of taking the Mercedes without consent, the court heard Gosal had a conviction for excess alcohol after crashing a car, and for dangerous driving as he tried to escape from the police in a stolen ice cream van following a burglary in Windsor Great Park.

Mr Morse read out a statement by Gina’s parents Dorette and Enos Gordon descibing Gina a ‘loving daughter’ who was ‘bright, compassionate and caring,’ and always there to lend a hand.

“First thing in the morning, throughout the day and last thing at night she is always on our minds, and each time the tears keep falling.  To lose her in this way causes a terrible pain which never goes away.

“Gina was torn away from us in such a terrible way.  We did not get to hold her hand or kiss her face goodbye. Her passing has been the most awful nightmare one could imagine.  Our hearts are completely broken.”

Reading her own statement, Gina’s sister Elaine Gordon said: “My mind and my life has been wrought with utter horror and devastation for the loss of my sister.

“The defendant ran away, leaving my sister alone.  That day will forever be etched on my memory.  I have not only lost a sister, I have lost a close friend.”

Faltering at times, Philip Johnson said: “Gina will always be the love of my life.  I cannot even begin to describe her as a person and how much joy and wonder she brought into my life.  I am not sure how she did it, but she managed to make every day feel magical.

“Her life was taken only an hour since we last kissed.  She was far too young.  I wanted my whole life to be with her.

“.. I can take no comfort from the way Gina died, or should I say the way the defendant killed her.  He has shown no remorse, only extreme self-centred selfishness.

“He left my wife to die after causing horrific fatal injuries… They are the actions of a selfish, self-centred coward.

“.. My wife was a registered organ donor.  The defendant’s actions have denied her this wish.

After hearing the family’s statements Gosal’s barrister Justin Houston-Roberts said: “To have to mitigate in a case such as this is almost an impossibility.  There is nothing I can say or do to comfort the family.”

Jailing Gosal, Recorder Sam Mainds told him: “Her life has been stolen from those we have heard from and the rest of her family.

“You put the family through six days of a trial, and they have suffered every day a repeat of what happened as you tried to wriggle out of it.”

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