A row over ‘inconsiderate’ parking led to a dangerous driver mowing down his rival before fleeing the scene. Robert Bowen was in his white Ford Transit when he sped towards his 52-year-old victim after the argument escalated.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard Bowen mounted a pavement before striking the man who was thrown against a wall in Church Street, Audley. He then drove off, leaving the victim stricken on the ground with broken bones in his ankle and foot, as well as leg and head injuries.
Now Bowen, 34, of Waverton Road, Bentilee, has been jailed for six years. The court heard the victim was with his daughter and her dog di lei when the incident took place on April 23 last year.
Describing the shocking details, Judge Graham Smith said: “It started with inconsiderate parking and escalated to an altercation with the victim. The injury suffered was after it had finished. You turned your van around and drove after him at some speed.
“You mounted the pavement and hit him in the back. He was thrown against the wall and his injuries di lui were serious-you could’ve been facing a murder charge.
“He was also with his daughter who was shocked. There’s been a mental impact on both of them and a physical impact on the victim. “
Bowen pleaded guilty to failing to stop after a road traffic collision, failing to report after a road traffic collision, dangerous driving and grievous bodily harm.
In an impact statement, the victim said: “The thought process of what happened when another person ran me down and drove away has taken getting used to. My daughter struggles with what happened and what she witnessed.
“She gets upset and can’t believe somebody could do this. I have adjusted towhat I can and can’t do physically. “
Another statement, from his daughter, read: “Being involved with and witnessing what happened to my dad has traumatized me. I have a constant feeling of nausea. I was unable to go near my dad’s house, I was so frightened that I didn’t want to move back there. I wanted him to sell it and move out.
“Flashbacks of the event play through my head. The accident has affected my life. I feel lucky that myself and the dog weren’t physically hurt and that my dad is alive. “
The court heard Bowen has 11 previous convictions including ABH, threatening behavior, drunkennessand possession of an offensive weapon.
Stuart Muldoon, mitigating, said: “He pleaded guilty at first opportunity. He knows he is going to custody. His position of lui is he is not looking forward to going into custody. His partner of him and his two children of him have become victims of his offending-they are nine and seven.
“He had to say goodbye to both of them and it’s distressing. He is remorseful, ashamed of his behavior di lui in April 2021. He is a man who can remain free from offending. His father di lui died of a heart attack in 2020. It was sudden. It’s something he struggled to deal with. He can’t easily speak about his emotions about him.
“He knows he needs to be able to be more open. It happened immediately after a confrontation between the parties. The injuries are serious and have had an impact on the victim and continue to have an impact.
“He is not a man who acts violent regularly. He shows remorse. It was committed when he was not dealing with a traumatic incident with the death of his father di lui.
“Since the incident he has not drunk or taken illicit substances. He has spent more time with the family knowing that today is inevitable. “
As well as the prison sentence, Judge Smith also disqualified Bowen from driving for eight years which will begin after his release. Mr Smith told the defendant: “You were in a mentally vulnerable position yourself because of the death of your father. You saw red and felt you had been disrupted. It’s not a form of excuse.
“This reaction was extreme. There was some pre-meditation because it did not happen in the heat of the moment. I am clear this is a higher culpability case.
“Driving a van deliberately at someone is a dangerous weapon equivalent. This was a bad piece of driving. “
Want the latest news delivered straight to your inbox? Click here to sign up for Stoke on Trent Live’s newsletters.