SERIOUS delays in the case of a savage killer who brutally attacked a 67-year-old man have left his wife angry at the criminal justice system.
Professional engineer Mr Peter Green, of Radcliffe Street, Skelmanthorpe, was killed by James Spencer at a house on Lidgett Lane, Skelmanthorpe, on October 19, 2008.
Now Mr Green’s wife, Linda, has spoken out for the first time just days after the 67-year-old victim’s killer was due to be sentenced.
But the hearing did not go ahead after Spencer’s barrister failed to turn up at Bradford Crown Court.
Mrs Green said: “Why has this been allowed to go on? It has been delay after delay.
“The trial was first due to go ahead on March 23 last year, but was postponed just days before and then we were told it was September 21 last year. But I never wanted that because it was the month we met, the month we married and the month we were both born. Yet I was told it had to go ahead, then it was postponed just days before.
“Then we went to court on March 3, this year, but the judge postponed sentencing because he wanted the psychologist and psychiatrist who had dealt with Spencer in court.
“Then we were on our way to court for the sentencing on March 31 when we received a call to say it would not be going ahead again because the barrister would not be there.’’
Spencer, who admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, is now due to be sentenced on May 27 at Bradford Crown Court.
Mrs Green, relatives and friends have paid tribute to Mr Green, describing him as a ‘caring and gentle man and an excellent engineer’ with a love of building and racing cars, skiing, Chinese cooking and animals.
Mr Green – a regular at the Grove pub in Skelmanthorpe – had battled cancer for several years before being given the all-clear in 2002.
The couple married in 1980 and Mrs Green said: “He was a wonderful, loving, caring husband. He was a very intelligent, methodical and gentle man who would do anything for anyone. He was incredibly well- respected.
“He was always looking to further develop his cars and give them more power.
“He’d offer people who showed an interest in what he was doing the opportunity to drive the car. He would share it with everyone and never wanted the limelight.’’
Neighbour Samantha Berry added: “Peter was a warm and generous neighbour and friend and was always on hand to give advice with his wealth of knowledge on all subjects. We miss him dearly.”
Mrs Green’s cousin and fellow motorsports enthusiast Michael Poole added that Mr Green once spotted an elderly man waiting outside the optician’s in Skelmanthorpe after getting the time for his appointment wrong. It was a bitterly cold day and Mr Green invited the man home, gave him a cup of tea and Mrs Green made him a sandwich before Mr Green walked him back for his appointment when the optician’s opened an hour later.
“That was how kind he was,” said Mr Poole.
Mr Green was born in Denby Dale and studied electrical engineering at Huddersfield Polytechnic.
After a spell at Brook Motors – now Brook Crompton on St Thomas’ Road in Huddersfield – he became an electrical engineer at Ferrybridge Power Station near Pontefract.
He then went to Blyth Power Station in Northumberland but during one week he was offered two promotions – one at Blyth and the other at Ferrybridge.
He decided to return to Ferrybridge where he became shift charge engineer and was then promoted to principal engineer. Mr Green took early retirement aged 55.
He married Linda, a nurse, in 1980.
Motorsports – particularly circuit racing and speed hill climbing – were Mr Green’s passion.
He was a veteran of courses including Scammonden, Baitings in Ripponden, Croft near Darlington, Donington Park in Nottinghamshire and Harewood Hill, Leeds.
Mr Green won over 50 trophies. He began building racing cars from the early 1970s and was building an MNR road-legal racer and was still racing when he was killed.
Mr and Mrs Green owned a chalet in the French ski resort of Bourg St Maurice and Mr Green was a very good skier.
The couple also own a holiday home in Gran Alicante, Spain, where Mr Green would cook for his neighbours and such was his reputation he was invited by Cancer Research to cook a large charity dinner in 2008 which raised 500 Euros for the charity.
Mrs Green adopted several dogs which Mr Green loved.