Sam Spaven who mowed down love rival jailed for life in Nottinghamshire

A driver who murdered a love rival by mowing him down as he cycled home from work has been jailed for life.

Sam Spaven who mowed down love rival jailed for life in Nottinghamshire

Sam Spaven was sentenced to a minimum term of 25 years after a court heard that he left Richard Pencott to die following the pre-planned attack on the A631 in Harworth, Nottinghamshire.

Spaven, 27, of Norfolk Road, Bircotes, Nottinghamshire, pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court to killing Pencott on June 24 this year.

The victim, aged 44 and also from Bircotes, was cycling on a footpath running alongside the A631 when he was struck head-on by an Audi A4 driven by Spaven.

The force of the impact was so severe that it launched Pencott’s bike over a 3m-high security fence.

In a statement issued after the court hearing, Nottinghamshire Police said Spaven failed to stop at the scene after hitting Pencott, who suffered a fractured skull, chest injuries, and numerous broken bones.

Dashboard camera footage recorded by a passing vehicle showed Spaven’s heavily damaged car leaving the scene and being driven towards his place of work, a gym in Rotherham.

The court heard that Spaven made threats to kill Pencott before the murder after learning he was in a relationship with his former partner.

Spaven had also used Facebook before the collision to say Pencott had “broken his family apart”.

Commenting on the case, Detective Chief Inspector Hayley Williams said: “This was a premeditated and callous attack on a man who had absolutely no opportunity to defend himself.

“His violent actions that summer’s day have destroyed a number of lives and left behind nothing but devastation.”

More in this section


Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox