Northampton man who repeatedly drove his car at victim given suspended jail sentence

Northampton Crown Court NNL-140423-093950001
Northampton Crown Court NNL-140423-093950001

A Northampton man who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving after he chased a pedestrian three times in his car, said he “just wanted to scare” the victim.

The incident happened following a dispute which broke out after the defendant accidentally damaged the victim’s wing mirror while at a petrol station in Weedon.

At a sentencing hearing at Northampton Crown Court yesterday, defendant, Andrew Noonan, was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years, for dangerous driving, after he repeatedly drove towards a man on a road in Weedon.

Summarising the chain of events leading to the incident, Rachel Law, prosecuting, said the defendant accidentally damaged the victim’s wing mirror when opening his own door at a Shell garage in Weedon and agreed to compensate him.

Ms Law said: “The victim then saw the defendant driving again, in his Renault Megane, while he was walking outside a shop in New Croft Weedon in July. He waved at the defendant to get his attention and asked where his wing mirror was, but Noonan responded by swearing at him and beginning to drive off.

“The victim returned to his own car and then said he heard a car revving and turned to see Noonan “roaring” towards him.

“At that moment, a bus also joined the road and Noonan had to swerve onto a grass verge to avoid it.

“The victim got out of his car and approached Noonan to try to calm him down, but he drove at him again, stopping only inches away from his legs. During interview, he said that he had just wanted to scare him and not hit him.”

“At this point, the victim took a welding hammer from his car boot and, when Noonan drove towards him again, he hit the corner of the car windscreen.”

A statement by the victim, read out in court, said: “I left a shaking wreck and couldn’t understand how the wing mirror dispute escalated to this. I had to go to the hospital after hitting the windscreen caused my hand to swell up.”

Michael Smith, defending, said the argument was out of character for the defendant and went “out of control” very quickly.

He said: “The defendant accepts responsibility and would not repeat such a childish argument. He accepts that his driving was well below his usual standard at the time and has since given up his car.”

As well as a suspended prison sentence, Noonan received an 18-month driving ban. He was ordered to pay £100 compensation to the victim, as well as £360 in court costs, and must complete 150 hours community work.