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Paramedic sentenced to five years four months for killing cyclist father of five

|News, Driving offences

A paramedic who was at least twice the drink-drive limit when he killed a cyclist and father of five has been sentenced today at Hull Crown Court.

Robert Woodruff, 36, was sentenced to five years four months, disqualified from driving for five years extended by two years eight months and ordered to take an extended re-test after pleading guilty to causing the death by dangerous driving of 56 year old Richard Goodwin.

On the evening of 26 June 2021, Woodruff, who had consumed approximately ten pints of Guinness that afternoon, decided to attend a house party seven miles away. Ignoring the pleas of his wife, and evading her attempts to stop him, he walked round the corner to where their car was parked, and drove away. It was about quarter to nine.

At the same time, Mr Goodwin, correctly attired and clearly visible, was cycling home along the A1033. He had been to a  friend’s barbeque in the village of Coniston.

Woodruff was travelling at about 60 mph in the opposite direction. Between the villages of Ottringham and Partington, he was witnessed driving dangerously close to the car ahead of him, leaving  only an estimated half a second gap between the two vehicles. He then attempted an overtaking manoeuvre, narrowly avoided colliding with on oncoming vehicle, swerved across the road, and hit Mr Goodwin on his bicycle, killing him instantly.

The Defendant’s vehicle continued, after the impact, carrying the body of Mr Goodwin on the bonnet. It travelled down the verge, clearing a ditch whilst airborne; before ploughing through trees and undergrowth, and coming to rest in the front garden of a nearby cottage,100 meters from the site of the initial collision.   

Nearly three hours later in hospital, Woodruff’s blood alcohol level was still twice the drink-drive limit.

Jeremy Evans from the CPS said: “Words cannot adequately describe the absolute devastation and heartbreak this defendant has caused to the Goodwin family. Woodruff was a serving paramedic and a trained emergency response driver.

"His unbelievably reckless actions that day are completely beyond comprehension. Equally, it is hard to imagine a more complete betrayal of the values of his profession as a paramedic.

"Our hearts go out to the whole of the Goodwin family, and we hope that the sentence Woodruff is beginning today will be of some comfort to them in the months and years ahead. Our thoughts remain with them.”

Notes to editors

  • Jeremy Evans is a Senior Crown Advocate with CPS Yorkshire and Humberside
  • Robert Woodruff, DOB:18/4/86
     

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