AN OSWESTRY man has been jailed for killing another driver by ploughing into his car in what a judge called a "deliberate and self-absorbed" suicide attempt.

Damien Roberts, 27 and of College Road, was found guilty of the manslaughter of 49-year-old Robert Mills on December 2, 2022 by a jury at Stafford Crown Court on Thursday.

He had previously denied manslaughter but had admitted causing death by dangerous driving on the A5 Gledrid bridge near Chirk and Oswestry.

However, a jury took around two days to deliver a unanimous guilty verdict on the manslaughter charge.

His trial had heard that Roberts had tried, unsuccessfully, to take his own life earlier on the same day.

Roberts then drove his black Nissan Qashqai into a deliberate head-on collision with Mr Mills' white Nissan Juke on the bridge over the Ceiriog River.

This, according to trial judge Recorder Kristina Montgomery, was a ‘self-absorbed’ and ‘deliberate’ act as she sentenced him to 11 years, serving two-thirds before being released on licence.

She said: “You deliberately drove your car into the opposing carriageway to cause a head-on collision with another vehicle and kill yourself.

“Earlier that day you decided to do this after the end of your relationship.

“You gave no thought to others, so self-absorbed you were at the time.


“You deviated your path and saw an oncoming vehicle that was clear to you but there you stayed and drove at speed.

“Robert Mills was going to work but his partner will never see him again, her grief is profound and her heart is broken and she fears it will never repair.

“Your intention to cause damage by creating a head-on collision damage is not a truly novel occasion, and an analogy of causing a fire to take your own life comes to mind, with the unlawful killing of others caught up in this.

“However, your conduct put many others at risk – that Mr Mills lost his life is tragic but the fact that others didn’t has to be a considerable factor as he might have had passengers.

“You are a man whose character has been part of this trial and have received glowing references from friends and family and I accepted this.

“I think you have expressed genuine and heartfelt remorse, even if it offers little comfort to the deceased’s family.”

Before sentence was passed, the court heard from Mr Mills partner Louise Aimes, who says she had been ‘devasted’ by his loss.

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She said: “When the police arrived at my house in the early hours to tell me Robert had been in a car crash, it took me a while to realise that he had died.

“I felt numb, in shock and didn’t want to believe and didn’t sleep or eat for days after.

“To be the person to tell people that their brother and friend had died while I was numb – I re-live those calls constantly.

“I still find it hard to believe what has happened and hope I will wake up and find it’s been a horrible nightmare.

“When I eventually fell asleep I had nightmares of seeing it happen and I would wake up and have anxiety.”

Roberts will also be banned from driving for six years upon release.

  • When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at, or visit to find your nearest branch

​If you would like any help with bereavement, loss or mental wellbeing, here are some helpline numbers:

  • Papyrus Hopeline on 0800 068 4141
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) on 0800 58 58 58
  • Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) 0300 111 5065