A MOTORIST who deliberately ran over a pedestrian on a residential Carlisle road amid a simmering row between two couples has been jailed for almost seven years.
Daniel English, 31, understood he was being blamed for hurling a brick at the car of Darren Read’s partner, Kelly Harrison, on January 12 this year. The following day, English’s girlfriend, Claire Porter – who lived near the couple – complained she had found a petrol bomb by the wheel of her car, and a threatening note on the windscreen.
Carlisle Crown Court heard English – owed money by the couple for cannabis – was “extremely angry”. He threw a bottle at Miss Harrison’s car during a confrontation with the pair, who a witness saw armed with implements before English drove his Audi A4 estate up the road and turned around.
“He deliberately drove into Mr Read and ran him down without braking or swerving,” said prosecutor Joseph Allman, who spoke of him “accelerating at the point of impact”. “Mr Read flew over the top of the car,” added the prosecutor, “and landed behind it. The force was such that the windscreen wiper came off the car and the windscreen was shattered. A clump of Mr Read’s hair and some debris was left of the windscreen.”
English drove off, leaving Mr Read unable to move and bleeding, with a gash on his head and teeth lying in the street. He had suffered multiple skull and facial fractures, a fracture to his upper arm and underwent surgery.
More surgery would be needed, and Mr Allman had said of now housebound Mr Read: “He still suffers from nightmares most nights. He only allows two friends in the house but otherwise sees nobody. It is still too early to say whether he will ever be pain-free.”
Father-of-two English, of Stonegarth, Carlisle, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent on the day he was due to stand trial, on the basis of a degree of provocation and lack of premeditation. Porter, 33, of Greta Avenue, Carlisle, admitted assisting an offender having helped English evade police by driving him to West Cumbria and then to a Lakes hotel before he handed himself in.
After hearing mitigation and of his remorse, Recorder Nicholas Clarke QC jailed English for six years and 10 months, and ordered Porter to pay a £500 fine and costs for her criminal conduct.
Of the feud, Recorder Clarke told English: “It could never have justified the extreme reaction that you ultimately gave.
“You did not stop to turn around to see what you had done or have any regard whatsoever for his welfare.” The judge added of Mr Read: “This has had a massive impact on his life, and is why the case is so serious.”
In his statement, English’s victim said: “This assault has had an impact on me physically and mentally. It has changed me completely.
“Physically, I am never out of pain.
“Mentally it is as hard for me as it is physically. I have nightmares almost every night.
“I see myself being hit by the car over and over again and flying through the air, as if from the eyes of someone else.
“I know that I am going to be affected by this for the rest of my life.”
Detective Constable Chris Burton oversaw the case.
Speaking after the hearing, he said: “What English did that day has had a massive impact on his victim and the victim’s family.
“He may not have used a conventional weapon to carry out this attack but a car is a potentially lethal weapon in the hands of someone who drives it in this way.
“We welcome the sentence handed out today.”